Pillsbury overhauls management

Freshly merged Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is hoping to ensure a more dramatic rise up the Am Law 100 rankings next year after taking the dramatic step of overhauling its management.

San Francisco-based Pillsbury Winthrop, which merged with Washington DC-headquartered Shaw Pittman last year, rose 12 places in the rankings to place 30th this year based on a combined gross revenue of $575m (£328.57m) in 2005 – an impressive feat on face value.

But closer analysis shows this to be a disappointing result, given that Pillsbury Winthrop reported a gross revenue of $432m (£236.07m) in 2004 while Shaw Pittman earned $191m (£104.37m), making a combined $623m (£340.44m) pre-merger.

It is hoped that the management overhaul at the firm will allow further integration of the two firms’ teams and ultimately increase earnings – although Pillsbury has opted for a very management-heavy strategy.

As part of changes, Pillsbury has elected real estate partner James Rishwain as chairman and former Shaw Pittman managing partner Stephen Hutler as executive vice-chairman. Meanwhile, outgoing chairwoman Mary Cranston takes up the position of senior partner, advising on long-term strategy.

A new 12-partner board has also been installed, while New York insolvency partner Richard Epling has been elected to the newly revived post of lead director (a position Shaw Pitman had pre-merger), responsible for organising board meetings.