Montgomery McCracken Gives Raises, Looks to Grow

Philadelphia-based firm Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads will raise first-year associate pay to $125,000 annually as of September 1st. The change keeps pace with earlier moves by other Philly firms. Montgomery, which has five offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, currently employs 170 attorneys, but will look to grow the number “comfortably over 200 attorneys,” according to chairman Stephen A. Madva.

Greenberg Traurig Opens Tampa Office

Greenberg Traurig is set to open its 27th office in Tampa, Florida this Tuesday. Starting small, the office will initially house four attorneys. Greenberg expects plenty of business in the city, though, as 25% of the state’s GDP is currently produced in the Tampa Bay area. Looking to grow the office over time, managing partner David B. Weinstein states: “…make no mistake, our goal is to develop a full-service office that is a significant player in the Tampa Bay legal market.” Greenberg employs approximately 1,300 lawyers.

L.A. Office for Venable

In a move to expand its national presence, Washington, D.C.-based firm Venable LLP has opened a new office in L.A. throught the aqcuisition of two boutiques: Gorry Meyer & Rudd L.L.P. and Whitwell Jacoby Emhoff LLP. The move brings twenty attorneys to Venable, with a total of approximately 500 firm-wide. Venable has offices in Washington, New York, Maryland, and Virginia.

Fish & Richardson Picks Up Eight from Andrews Kurth

Fish & Richardson has snared 8 business and litigation attorneys from Texas giant Andrews Kurth. Citing Fish & Richardson’s exceptional IP practice as the main appeal in the move, the new attorneys will bring the Austin office’s total to twenty. On the other side, Andrews Kurth managing partner Rex VanMiddlesworth is disappointed and notes that “…business is strong and our struggle is to just get enough folks to do what we need to do.”

New Las Vegas Office for Ballard Spahr

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, a firm employing 460 attorneys in 8 U.S. offices, has opened a new location in Las Vegas, Nevada. William P. Curran and Stanley W. Parry, formerly the name partners of Curran & Parry, will head the office and focus on resorts, hotels and gaming, along with real estate development, public finance, business, and litigation.

Pillsbury Winthrop Closes Century City Office

In a move contrary to the current trend, Pillsbury Winthrop is set to close its Century City, California office. Citing the office as “redundant,” Pillsbury will consolidate the attorneys and staff to its downtown L.A. location. The move comes at a time when many other firms are opening new offices in Century City in order to reduce the time their employees spend commuting.

Powell Goldstein Snags Akin Gump Partners, Opens New Dallas Office

Atlanta-based firm Powell Goldstein has lured two partners and 11 other attorneys and paralegals away from Akin Gump’s real estate and finance practice. Kieth Dunsmore, having previously spent 13 years with Powell, will head a new capital markets practice group in D.C. Robin Green, the second of the two partners, is to lead the new Dallas office and will be joined by seven of the former Akin Gump attorneys. The office will focus on real estate, banking, and financial services.

Two More Texas Firms Announce Raises

275-lawyer Dallas-based firm Jenkens & Gilchrist has increased salaries nationwide, with first-year associates now earning $140,000, The firm’s Texas offices are located in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Also announcing raises is Houston firm Porter & Hedges, with first-years making $135,000 plus $5,000 in bonuses. Source:

NY Firm Expands Office, Staff

New York firm Covington & Burling has moved to a larger office, having doubled in size over the last six years. The firm expects continued growth, with plans to hire 5-10 laterals per year in the future. Covington employs 520 lawyers worldwide with additional offices in Washington, San Francisco, Brussels, and London.

Texas Lawyer Reports Rising Salaries for all Texas Firms

In a recent survey of Texas firms, Texas Lawyer found an increase in salaries across the board for 2006. On average, first-years are making 4.7% more in 2006 than 2005, with fourth-years at 9.3% and seventh-years at 5.1% more respectively. In firms employing over 100 attorneys, first-years have seen a 16.4% salary increase.