With the steady stream of big firm layoffs, businesses are aware of the instability of some national law firms. In March, a New York firm laid off 200 lawyers and watched as partners fled to competitors. A month earlier, a Los Angeles firm became the first top-10 firm to conduct major layoffs when it let go of 440 employees, comprising over a fifth of its total work force. According to Lawshucks.com, at least 10,000 employees at national firms across the country have lost their jobs this year alone. With national firms shrinking, who is filling the gap and serving existing businesses?
A recent New York Times article, "A Study in Why Major Law Firms Are Shrinking," suggests clients are hiring regional mid-sized firms over the larger national firms in part to pay lower fees. Thus, while big law firms are shrinking in the recession, many businesses are turning to smaller established firms for help.
Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP (KNLH), a local San Diego-based litigation firm, is filling in the gap in this changing economy. Established more than 30 years ago, KNLH is known for its experienced attorneys, practice area diversity and ability to handle large complex matters. As a mid-sized firm with big-firm expertise, KNLH handles large institutional clients as well as matters on behalf of individuals and smaller businesses.
"KNLH is one of the most efficient and cost effective law firms I have retained over the past 26 years of in-house practice," said Douglas Hageman, senior vice president and general counsel to Newland Communities, a nationwide real estate development company. "Assigned legal matters are handled by a hands-on partner without the inefficient and costly 'team' billing, which is unfortunately common place in larger law firms."
Whether KNLH is representing a major utility company, a fast-food chain or a local business, its attorneys provide personalized small-firm service to everyone.
Despite the economy, KNLH is growing. In the past 12 months, KNLH has hired four associates and two law clerks. A true local law firm, KNLH continues to grow and provide quality legal representation to its expanding client base.
Submitted by Johnny H. Tran for Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP