Pillsbury sticks with Cranston and Park

Pillsbury Winthrop’s management has received a vote of confidence from the firm’s partnership, which has re-elected its chair and managing partner.

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (18 November), Mary Cranston and Marina Park, chair
and managing partner respectively, will retain the positions they have held since the merger of New York’s Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts and the West Coast’s Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in 2000.

Both Cranston and Park held these titles at the pre-merger Pillsbury. Legacy Pillsbury partners now hold the top positions at the firm after it was also announced that David Snyder, managing partner of the London office, will become executive vice-chair.

Snyder takes over from John Pritchard, who was chairman of Winthrop Stimson. Legacy Pillsbury partners also dominate the firm’s managing board, with nine out of 12 members hailing from the West Coast practice.

Around 300 partners took part in the voting between 1 November and 15 November.

Who owns who?
Around 300 partners took part in the voting between 1 November and 15 November.

Last week’s management election quashed any lingering doubt that it was Pillsbury Madison that took over Winthrop Stimson when they officially merged in January 2001. Pillsbury was always the bigger firm: the pre-merger West Coast contingent boasted $295m (£173.7m) in revenues for 2000, more than double Winthrop’s $118m (£69.5m) billings that year.

But in the following three years, there was at least some proportional representation within management. However, the former directive that there be designated seats on the management board for Pillsbury and Winthrop partners has been done away with.

For Cranston and Park, being voted back in must be reassuring. After all, no one stood against them.

Financially, the partners feel the duo have more than acquitted themselves. While revenues fell from $444m (£261.5m) in the first year of merger to $416m (£245m) last year, profits per partner leapt up by 7 per cent to $710,000 (£418,100).

Although, from a pre-merger total of 729 lawyers and 159 equity partners, to a current 639 fee-earners and 130 equity partners, Cranston and Park have certainly been making savings.