Bradley attorney Chris Lam was featured in the Charlotte Business Journal on how Charlotte’s largest law firms have adapted to changes in the city’s legal landscape since the 2008 recession.
Charlotte’s 25 largest law firms employ about 2,870 people, which is down close to 12 percent since 2008. Bradley’s Charlotte office, which had six attorneys in 2008, was nowhere near the top 25 firms at the time. It is now seven times that size — having grown often by acquisition — and is 18th on the list with 43 employees.
Lam, who is the Charlotte office managing partner and president-elect of the Mecklenburg County Bar, noted the city’s biggest firms — with just a few notable exceptions — focus on large corporate clients. And large outside law firms continue to seek opportunities in Charlotte — often by merger and acquisitions, even as they did in the banking boom of the 1990s and the early 2000s. Often that growth comes through acquisition of particular practice groups from existing law firms, sometimes reducing the headcount at big firms already in the market.
Lam sees diversification as an important shift in the market: “For a lot of firms, financial institutions may be a factor in bringing them to Charlotte. But Charlotte has diversified its business mix. Energy, manufacturing, fintech and other businesses are creating opportunities.”
The complete article, “Charting a Decade of Change in Charlotte’s Legal Landscape,” first appeared in the Charlotte Business Journal on March 22, 2019.