Amid Merger Talks, Patton Boggs MP Touts Strategic Plan

, The Am Law Daily

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Ed Newberry
Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry

As it happens, Locke Lord, which has deep roots in Texas, has offices in Houston, Los Angeles and London. Locke Lord also opened a shop in Hong Kong two years ago, although Newberry sounds skeptical about jumping into the Asian market too quickly in light of the difficulty some large U.S. firms have encountered in the region.

A Locke Lord spokeswoman told The Am Law Daily that the firm never confirms or denies speculation about possible lateral hires or mergers.

One issue that has long hampered Patton Boggs in previous efforts to find a merger partner is its compensation structure. Newberry said the firm's strategic plan creates a partner pay scheme that accounts for a range of factors, rather than the more formulaic approach it took in the past under which only 15 percent of partner draws were discretionary.

Patton Boggs will now have multiple partner tiers. The key to making the new program work, Newberry said, is establishing a culture that encourages partners to share credit for work and to cross-sell their practices. Newberry said the plan was first put forth back in May at the firm's annual partnership meeting in Williamsburg, Va., and received the approval of 95 percent of the partnership at their meeting in D.C. last month.

The American Lawyer reported earlier this year that Patton Boggs ranked ninth on a list of partner pay spreads at Am Law 200 firms, with the lowest-paid partner making only 1/18th of its highest-paid partner.

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