ILNews

Firm restructures for growth

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP managing partner Tobin McClamroch is upfront about the direction he sees for the law firm, and he’s got a new leadership structure to help get there.

“We have a significant amount of confidence and momentum right now, and we anticipate significant expansion inside narrowly focused strategic initiatives,” McClamroch said. “We expect significant growth in 2014-2015, and most of that will be acquisition of laterals and smaller firms.”

apb-tobinmcclamroch02-15col.jpg Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP managing partner Tobin McClamroch’s three-year term begins as the firm also has streamlined its management team. “It’s critical that law firms in today’s world be more nimble and structured for change and quick change,” he says. (IL Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

McClamroch was named managing partner Feb. 28 at Indianapolis’ fifth-largest law firm based on number of local lawyers, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 2013 list of largest Indianapolis-area law firms. He began his three-year term as BGD also restructured the management team in a way he said will set the table for continued growth and possible mergers.

McClamroch explained that the prior structure had ensured representation of legacy firms and their business practices from the 2012 merger of Bingham McHale and Louisville-based Greenebaum Doll McDonald.

“We’ve done that, and now we’re a fully integrated firm,” he said. “We were very successful in 2013. We had a great year financially, and it’s time for us to look to the future.” While McClamroch declined to disclose 2013 earnings, he said the firm exceeded its revenue budget by more than 11 percent and increased revenues and profits per capital partner.

Going forward, McClamroch will report directly to a six-member partnership board rather than a much larger executive committee as had previous managing partners. McClamroch said the firm devoted extensive study to firm management

structures, and the model BGD chose is more akin to those of the companies it represents.

McClamroch believes the new structure reflects the direction law firm governance appears headed.

froehle Froehle

“It’s critical that law firms in today’s world be more nimble and structured for change and quick change” in order to make decisions and adjust to evolving circumstances, he said. BGD’s growth this year and next is likely to come in the firm’s corporate, business litigation and health care practices, he added.

Some of that expansion is likely to come from lateral hires or acquisitions of small firms, but McClamroch said there’s no reason to believe larger firms won’t continue to look for merger opportunities.

“The market for business law firms is not getting bigger, so in order to compete and take market share, I think more and more firms will continue to merge,” he said.

That’s a view shared by other leaders of some of Indianapolis’ largest law firms.

“I expect we will continue to see mergers in some form,” said Faegre Baker Daniels LLP chief operating partner Thomas Froehle. He said the firm, the second-largest in Indianapolis, doesn’t have any pending combinations but continues to grow through lateral hiring and expansion such as the opening of a Silicon Valley office last year.

Like BGD, FaegreBD’s leadership structure was changed after a 2012 merger between legacy firms Baker & Daniels and Faegre & Benson. After the merger, FaegreBD posted revenue for the year of $443 million, according to American Lawyer. A 15-member management board elected at-large from partners firm wide sets policy and strategic direction while a four-member executive committee handles day-to-day and operational management.

horn-brenda.jpg Horn

“While our structure allows us to respond quickly, we view a law firm merger as a very significant transaction and would not expect to enter into a merger precipitously,” Froehle said.

“We are periodically approached about potential mergers or significant expansions in new locations. Typically, our executive committee, with support from our operations executives, reviews those opportunities and fairly quickly assesses whether such opportunity warrants further review by the full management board,” he said.

FaegreBD also instituted an operations executive team consisting of chief financial, information, knowledge management, marketing, strategy and talent officers who are experts in their fields but by design do not practice law and instead focus on client service.

“This structure has worked well for us, and we don’t have any immediate plans to revise it,” Froehle said.

Ice Miller LLP deputy managing partner Brenda Horn said the firm, Indianapolis’ third-largest, has a built-in review cycle for its governance. “Although our current structure has been very effective, we are continually evaluating ways to improve on that success,” Horn said.

The firm also went through a merger in 2012, adding 90 lawyers from Columbus, Ohio-based Schottenstein Zox & Dunn. Horn said a more nimble, streamlined management structure put in place seven years ago was “designed to increase our ability to assess opportunities and respond to changes in the marketplace.” Horn is one of three deputy partners at Ice Miller who, with chief managing partner Phillip Bayt, direct and implement strategic objectives.

“We were able to strike the (2012 merger) deal in a relatively short time frame but, more importantly, we have been able to maximize our ability to work across our expanded platform almost immediately,” Horn said. “This experience confirmed to us that the Ice Miller management structure was well-suited for a regional law firm and could continue to serve our needs as we grow.”

williams Williams

Managing partner Mike Williams leads Krieg DeVault LLP’s executive committee that in recent years has increased from three to four partners. He believes a firm’s organizational structure has little to do with its ability to lure potential merger partners.

“I don’t know that size (of a firm’s governing body) makes a huge difference on this. In most firms, those types of things require full partner votes anyway,” said Williams, who leads Indianapolis’ fourth-largest firm based on attorneys in the market.

Williams said he’s not sure he would expect to see more mergers anytime soon, but he does expect larger firms will continue to grow to their strengths through lateral moves.

“Our goal, I think, is to continue to grow and continue to be known as a progressive firm with a good work environment,” he said. “We look for growth opportunities in any number of areas.”

BGD’s McClamroch said that while the firm’s management has been streamlined, it continues to represent various locations where Bingham does business. “It’s important to have balance among different offices in a law firm no matter how the structure is set up, and we do have a good balance,” he said.

A spokesman for Barnes & Thornburg LLP, the city’s largest firm, said managing partner Alan Levin declined to comment for this article.•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  2. A high ranking bureaucrat with Ind sup court is heading up an organization celebrating the formal N word!!! She must resign and denounce! http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  3. ND2019, don't try to confuse the Left with facts. Their ideologies trump facts, trump due process, trump court rules, even trump federal statutes. I hold the proof if interested. Facts matter only to those who are not on an agenda-first mission.

  4. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  5. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

ADVERTISEMENT