Holland & Knight shuts down nine offices

Tampa-based Holland & Knight is to close nine of its regional US offices and lay off about 40 fee-earners in a dramatic shake-up aimed at increasing profitability.

The firm, which ranked 27th in the AmLaw 100 in 2004 with gross revenue of $551m (£320m), has announced that it will merge several of its regional offices into its larger Washington DC, Chicago and Tampa presences.

The two-lawyer office in Annapolis will be combined with the Washington DC presence, seven fee-earners in the Oakbrook Terrace office will relocate to Chicago, while lawyers in St Petersburg, Lakeland and Bradenton will join colleagues in Tampa.

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

Announcing the decision, managing partner Howell Melton told staff that the cutbacks were being made in order to strengthen the firm’s economic and competitive position.

The shake-up follows a similar dramatic cost-saving attempt three years ago. In 2002, the firm cut 60 fee-earning positions and laid off 170 support staff.

The latest consolidation bid will see Holland & Knight left with 18 offices in the US and six internationally.