PoGo is NoMo

Powell Goldstein has been bought-out by Bryan Cave.


One comment

  1. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    The decision does not surprise me. PoGo was trapped as a tweener; it was too big and expensive to represent small clients and individuals, and too small to handle the affairs of megacorps (or at least was slightly outmatched by a lot of competitors).

    To me, litigation was the best known practice area, I saw more strength there than in other areas. But PoGo suffered a braindrain over the last 8 years or so, and lost a lot of longtime, well known lawyers like the late Jerry Blackstock and more recently, Jim Rawls.

    There is a couple of other firms that are of a similar size, and the coming downturn coupled with their market position and the load of overpaid associates they have may force them to make some hard decisions. The one thing the Atlanta firms have now that they previously did not was a heavy load of associates paid to match a national scale. The corporate clients have responded to ever increasing rates based on increasing salaries, and will be more aggressive in a protracted recession.

    In 1993, a first year associate in a large Atlanta firm would make $55,000 per year. From 1997 to 2007, first year salaries went crazy nationally, and dragged local salaries along with them. Salaries went to $62 and then $67k, then $72 and then $85k. The next move, for associates joining firms in 2000 was $100k a year. Presently, the salary range for the biggest firms is around $135k, with some firms HQ’d outside of Atlanta paying $145k in this market. To cover a $135k salary, the firms will have to bill new associates in the $225 per hour range, assuming 1,800 billable hours.

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