American firm continues to bleed partners

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With the departure of a dozen lawyers for another firm in two cities in the US, a major American firm has lost more than 30 partners this year.

The Am Law Daily reported that four partners are among the dozen-strong group leaving Sedgwick to join Robinson & Cole’s New York and Miami offices.

In New York, partners Lawrence Klein, a specialist in complex insurance coverage matters, and Michael Bernstein, a litigator whose expertise is in employee health care and benefits disputes, are leaving the firm. Both are reportedly high-profile lawyers.

The departures – coupled with the firm letting go of staffers in June – have slashed the firm’s headcount by more than 20% this year.

Sedgwick, which is ranked 152nd among America’s 200 largest firms by gross revenue, has 273 staff, according to The American Lawyer. Its turnover last year was US$183m, for a revenue-per-lawyer figure of US$670,000. Its profits per partner were US$685,000.

This year, Sedgwick has closed offices in Washington, DC; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Houston and Austin, Texas. The departures in New York have cut the firm’s lawyer headcount in the city from about 27 to about 16, the Am Law Daily said.

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