Debevoise & Plimpton to Eliminate Trusts and Estates Practice
NY-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton has decided to eliminate its trusts and estates practice.
A statement released by Michael W. Blair, the firm’s presiding partner, has confirmed the news. He said that the practice group’s eight lawyers, including partner Jonathan J. Rikoon, were trying to find a new home. This announcement makes it yet another BigLaw firm to abandon the trusts and estates practice. In the last few years, the others who have left this practice area are Weil, Gotshal & Manges in 2011 and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher almost a decade ago.
The New York Times Dealbook blog, which carried the story, says that drafting wills and trusts and handling its related matters are increasingly seen as a less attractive practice area in an era of “multibillion-dollar corporate transactions and high-stakes litigation”.
Another factor is that the practice area does not need many lawyers working on a particular client which translates into fewer billable hours. The result is that firms are now branching out into practice areas such as patent law or adding more offices to handle and get litigation and M&A related cases.