Yet, that's a major trend for law firms determined to grow in a stagnant market.
Law-lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) leverages that strategy to the extreme. And, the anonymous employee reviews on Glassdoor indicate the difficulties that might have caused.
In 2014, a distressed Patton Boggs (PB) emerged with the financially more stable Squire Sanders (SS).
After that, there have been mergers with Fernando & Partners, a Silicon Valley IP firm, and the 50-lawyer litigation shop Carrol, Burdick & McDonough, also based in California.
Many of the 79 reviews on Glassdoor about working at SPB explicitly cite what they perceive as negatives associated with the SPB merger strategy.
SPB global managing partner - Fred Nance - told ChambersAssociate that a strong united culture is critical to expansion. He claims there is a "one-firm firm."
Meanwhile, some employees note on their reviews that they miss the old culture, put together by iconic founder Thomas H. Boggs. The new one, they feel, "is not as nice." It's also not as cohesive.
Following the 2014 merger, there had been layoffs.
In addition, there were conflicts between the teams from PB and SS.
Offices outside the U.S. complain of too much control from the U.S.
Perhaps because mergers can be expensive, SPB is perceived by some employees as "cheap."
The initial compensation is market-rate. Afterwards raises are slow in coming. There are no bonuses. Staff is forced to complete tasks without incurring overtime. In one expensive location, the firm doesn't pick up the bill for parking.
Other beefs include:
- Too many meetings which seem to have no purpose and produce no results
- Continual requests from employer to support charities
- No transparency or guidance about how to advance in the firm
- There is resistance to improving processes
- Some partners could be difficult to work with (sound familiar?)
- Long hours required when trying to conduct business around the world with its various time zones.
On the plus side
- Intellectually stimulating assignments
- Exposure to leaders in business and government
- Face time not all that important.
In general, employees quickly come to the conclusion that SPB is useful to put on a resume. But it isn't going to be the firm for building a career.
The Glassdoor score for SPB is 3.5 out of a possible 5.
In the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Law Firms," SPB was recognized as the Law Firm of the Year in Public Finance Law. Among the big brandnames working for it are Trent Lott and John Boehner.
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