The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Jenner's Profits Plunge 17 Percent

, The Am Law Daily

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Jenner & Block had a down year in 2013, with gross revenue off nearly 8 percent, to $357.5 million, and profits per partner plummeting 17 percent, to $1.235 million, according to The American Lawyer's reporting.

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  • alm

    As one of the partners who recently has left Jenner, I can speak to the cause of the decline in profits. It is Susan Levy and management. In the last several years, management has been so focused on profits per partner and their own power that in their efforts to maintain those two things they have stripped the firm down to a skeletal support staff (except for their own support), done away with morale-building parties and events and crafted a partner compensation system, which if viewed by the public, would raise concerns about fairness, diversity and other "core values". Management appears to have decided to compensate new lateral partners and transactional lawyers higher than the longterm litigation and original corporate partners who form the core strength of the firm. Susan‘s favoritism of new laterals over existing, career partners is causing the firm to disintegrate internally and in the course of the next year, you will witness even more departures of longterm partners with solid books of business while Jenner continues to amass a growing number of lateral partners who are paid disproportionately well, and while they may have some impressive credentials, for the most part, those laterals lack business. The resentment is building in the ranks and it seems as if management does not care , so long as Ms. Levy has a new lateral to promote in the headlines. The bias in favor of the increasing number of under-performing new laterals is causing Jenner‘s best and unfortunately under-appreciated partners to leave in unprecedented numbers. The smartest partners already cashed out while the firm still has the funds to pay their withdrawal benefits. If they had any sense, Craig Martin, Tony Valukas and David Bradford would put an end to Ms. Levy‘s divisive influence and appoint a managing partner who, unlike Ms. Levy, actually has experience in business generation and is fair-minded enough to mend fences and bring the partners together. It truly once was a fantastic firm with a great reputation and wonderful people who celebrated birthdays in the halls almost daily, but it had become unrecognizably sad and morose, a fact which made my departure much easier. I wish my former colleagues the best and want to remind them that there is life after Jenner.

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