Transatlantic giant Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBRM) is embarking on a dramatic restructuring as it draws up plans to shed 45 equity partners out of its total of 427 worldwide.
Around half of the de-equitised partners will be offered positions as counsel in the firm.
MBRM general counsel Jim Holzhauer told The Lawyer: “We think it’s clearly correct as a matter of strategy and making sure that we have the proper leverage.”
The bulk of the losses will be felt in the US, particularly in the firm’s home town of Chicago, with only three scheduled departures in other jurisdictions. It is thought that litigation will be the most strongly affected, but real estate will escape unscathed.
Holzhauer said: “We’re not closing down practice areas. The litigation practice is our highest revenue area, but it’s not as highly leveraged as it should be.”
At the same time MBRM has announced record results for the 2006 financial year. Turnover rose by 11 per cent to $1.1bn (£597.83m), surpassing the billion-dollar mark for the first time, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) rose to more than $1m (£543,500).
According to The Lawyer Global 100, published late last year, MBRM ranked twelfth in revenue and 55th in PEP.