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Date : 08-01-2006

Greenberg names Managing Shareholder for new Tampa office

International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, has announced the appointment of David B. Weinstein as Managing Shareholder in its new office in Tampa. Weinstein, a trial lawyer with expertise in complex environmental and other litigation, has a client roster including Mosaic, Cardinal Health, MacDill Federal Credit Union, and Coronet Industries. The Tampa office is the 27th U.S. office of the law firm and its eighth in Florida. The new office will concentrate on the firm's established litigation, construction, business, and environmental law practices.

Pepper Hamilton partner to chair ABA's Public Contract Law section

Michael Hordell, a partner at Pepper Hamilton, is set to chair the American Bar Association's section of Public Contract Law in the annual meeting scheduled for early August in Hawaii. Residing in the firm's Washington, DC, office, Hordell handles a wide range of clientele in government contracts matters. He has also served as procurement counsel at the General Accounting Office and has a long-standing association with the ABA. The ABA's Section of Public Contract Law promotes excellence in acquisition policy and procurement law.

Altman survey of paralegal salaries

Altman Weil, Inc., has released a survey report on paralegal compensations in 261 law firms and 80 legal departments. Among the larger cities, Los Angeles accounted for the highest average paralegal salary of $74,171, including bonus and overtime, and reported 1,421 billed hours for the most senior paralegals. In New Jersey, the average pay last year was $53,909. It was $58,552 in the Philadelphia/southern New Jersey region, with billed hours of 1,175. The national average for salaries was $61,134, and the average billed hours was 1,340. Among the other major cities, salaries averaged $66,947 in New York, $68,329 in Boston, $67,615 in Atlanta, $69,722 in Dallas, $68,523 in Houston, $71,166 in Chicago, $68,277 in Miami, and $56,303 in Washington, DC.

According to the report, while compensation increased by 3.9 percent last year, billing rates surged by 7.1 percent for general-purpose paralegals and 17.6 percent for supervisory paralegals. The highest-paying practice area was intellectual property, which averaged $58,091. Participants in the survey included Altman Weil's past poll respondents, former clients of the firm, and members of the International Paralegal Management Association.

Kansas City-based firms add to staffs in Washington

Two major law firms in Kansas City, Polsinelli Shalton Welte Suelthaus and Blackwell Sanders Peper, plan to strengthen their respective staff strengths in Washington, DC. Former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost joined Polsinelli Shalton as a shareholder, while James Miller, former Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, joined Blackwell Sanders.

U.S.-based firms look for options to tackle attrition in London

U.S.-based law firms are experiencing attrition at their London offices. According to a survey conducted by U.K.'s Legal 500, the trend began in 2004, when majority of the U.S. firms with offices in London witnessed a significant decline in attorney headcount. It is noteworthy to mention that there are only eight U.S.-based firms in London that employ more than 100 attorneys.

Shearman & Sterling will lose projects partner Stephan Peppiatt from its London office. This is the second loss to the law firm after erstwhile partner Jonathan Coppin left the firm to join corporate practice at Hogan & Hartson. Recently, LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae's London office lost tax counsel Andrew Terry to Withers, where he joined as a partner.

However, last year, White & Case registered a growth of 10% in its strength, which elevated the firm to third position. With this, the majority of U.S.-based firms in London have combined significant U.S. law capability with a large section of English law resource. This move is expected to turn the tables for majority of U.S. firms that are still registering high attrition rates.

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