LA boutique raid adds to Holland & Knight upheaval

LA firm Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps has poached a ten-lawyer estate and trust team from as Holland & Knight continues its slimming.

The Luce team included executive partner Bruce Ross, four other partners, three senior counsel and two associates.

The defections come just three months after the Florida-based firm announced the closure of nine offices nationwide and layoffs for 41 attorneys and 45 staff.

The additions bring Luce Forward’s LA office to more than 20 lawyers. The 165-lawyer firm recently reported an 8 percent increase in revenue, and said average compensation for all partners was $470,000 (£269,000).

The raid is the latest setback for Holland & Knight, ranked 27th in the AmLaw 100 in 2004. The firm announced in November that it will merge several of its regional offices into its larger Washington DC, Chicago and Tampa presences in an attempt to increase profitability.

The Annapolis, Maryland office will be combined with the DC , and the Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, office with the Chicago. The St Petersburg and Bradenton, Florida, presences will join the Tampa office.

The firm will also close its Providence, Rhode Island, Seattle, San Antonio and Rancho Santa Fe offices this year. About 60 lawyers will be affected by the closures, with only those resident in Providence offered positions elsewhere in the firm.

The shake-up follows a similarly dramatic cost-cutting round in 2002, when the firm slashed 60 fee-earning positions and laid off 170 support staff.

The latest consolidation sees the firm left with 18 offices in the US, and six full-scale offices or representative offices internationally.