Chadbourne streamlines US operation

CHADBOURNE & Parke will focus reforms on its US operations after the firm saw a dip in both gross revenue and profit for 2005 – but it will spare the London and European offices from cutbacks and partner fires.

Revenue fell by around 5 per cent at the New York-based firm, giving it a year-end result of $229m (£128.9m), and profit per partner by slightly under $1m (£563,000).

The drop prompted firm managing partner Charles O’Neill to issue a stern firmwide memo last week (30 January), saying underperforming partners at the 440-lawyer firm would be shown the door.

“What we’re doing [in the US] will have no impact on our growth in London and Europe,” he told The Lawyer. “We’re realigning and refocusing on how we do things to focus on our strengths.”

Project finance, energy, product liability and insurance – the areas the London and European offices focus on – would “come into tighter focus” for the US practice, she said, adding: “London and Europe is where we see the real future for growth.”

Chadbourne raided the disintegrating Coudert Brothers to open in Almaty and St Petersburg in 2005, following on from openings in Warsaw and Kiev in 2004.