Holland & Knight implements wholesale management overhaul to boost profits

Holland & Knight is overhauling its management structure as part of a raft of changes aimed at unifying operations and increasing profitability.

The Tampa-headquartered firm is to overhaul its practice area management structure by April 2006, replacing its existing office practice group heads with firmwide heads.

Managing partner Howell Melton told The Lawyer that the firm was implementing a raft of changes in order to strengthen its economic and competitive position nationally and internationally.

Melton also plans to reduce the number and size of internal committees, reduce the number of equity partners and review whether the firm is focusing on the most profitable practice areas.

The firm’s partnership agreement was also redrafted last year. This included the introduction of tougher criteria for entering the partnership.

The shake-up follows November’s announcement of the closure of nine of the firm’s regional US offices and the redundancies of around 40 fee-earners and 70 support staff (as first reported on www.thelawyer.com, 23 November).

The firm, which ranked 27th in the AmLaw 100 in 2004 with a gross revenue of $551m (£317.8m), is to merge its Annapolis office into its Washington DC group, its Bradenton, Lakeland and St Petersburg offices into its Tampa group and Oakbrook Terrace into Chicago.

The firm also plans to close its Providence, Rancho Santa Fe, San Antonio and Seattle offices next year. Around 60 lawyers will be affected by the closures.

Melton told staff that the cutbacks were being made in order to reduce overheads and operating expenses. The downscaling leaves the firm with 18 offices in the US and six internationally.