Barnes & Thornburg enters top 100 on list of largest law firms

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A spate of office openings and an acquisition have helped catapult Barnes & Thornburg LLP into the upper echelon of the nation’s largest law firms, at a time when the slumbering economy has forced most other big firms to cut staff.

The Indianapolis-based law firm ranked 87th in The National Law Journal’s most recent annual listing of the nation’s 250 largest firms, marking its highest-ever ranking.

Barnes & Thornburg moved up from its 109th-place ranking in 2008, by increasing its lawyer numbers 8 percent, to 483, in offices in seven states and Washington, D.C. The firm has 233 lawyers in Indianapolis and is the second largest in the city, according to the most recent IBJ statistics. 

“It’s an exciting time for Barnes & Thornburg,” Managing Partner Alan Levin said in a prepared statement. “The firm’s financial strength and recent growth certainly run counter to the rest of the industry and that creates a significant opportunity for the firm and its expanding client base.”
Barnes & Thornburg grew its roster of attorneys by acquiring Minneapolis-based Parsinen Law Firm PA, which added 22 lawyers, and by opening offices in Columbus, Ohio; Wilmington, Del.; and Atlanta. Together, the three account for five lawyers. The firm also hired several veteran lawyers and new associates.

Altogether, Barnes & Thornburg added 69 lawyers the past year. But the number falls to 37, the figure cited by NLJ, when considering normal attrition.

Its growth far outpaced the overall performance of the nation’s biggest law firms, which collectively reduced their headcounts by roughly 4 percent so far this year, according to the New York-based trade publication. 

That’s in stark contrast to average annual growth of nearly 4 percent the past 20 years, NLJ said. So, the decline this year, coupled with the usual growth rate, roughly equates to the loss of 10,000 lawyer jobs, the publication estimated.

“Obviously, the numbers collected this year show a profession in turmoil,” NLJ Editor David Brown said upon releasing the rankings this week. “Perhaps it's not surprising, but this year's stats are certainly unprecedented.”

Another locally based firm added lawyers as well. Baker & Daniels LLP increased its number of attorneys from 273 to 286 from the previous year but still fell in the rankings, from 138th to 149th.

Ice Miller LLP, conversely, lost 16 lawyers and fell three notches, to 169th, according to the rankings.

A handful of regional and national firms that have a presence in Indianapolis also made the top 250 list. San Francisco-based Littler Mendelson ranked 45th; Greenville, S.C.-based Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, 100th; Cincinnati-based Frost Brown Todd LLC, 113th; and Cincinnati-based Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, 139th.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.