The Outlaw Motor Speedway team is very passionate about law. Thus, we don’t only cover current law firms. We also look back through history and see how other law firms operated and even fell.
Let’s check out how these four big law firms fell and went out of business.
Brobeck, Phleger, & Harrison
The first firm on our list is Brobeck, Phleger, & Harrison. They were a pretty sizeable firm that was located in California in the early 2000s. This firm had actually been around for close to 80 years before they got bankrupted. Throughout history, they have been accumulating big clients as part of their roster. Just to give an idea of how big the clients were, Wells Fargo was actually one of their clients at one point.
In the 80s, sensing the technology boom, they went to Palo Alto and opened an office there. They also went to Silicon Valley similarly in the 90s. When the internet became a big thing, there was a lot of hype and expected money to be made in the dot-com days. However, when that fell through, it seemed that Brobeck, Phleger, & Harrison had too many eggs in that basket.
It was inevitable. While the chairman said that he wouldn’t entertain the idea of layoffs, the firm finally went down that path and laid off as many as 400 lawyers by the time the whole firm closed down in 2003.
Then we have Finley Kumble. The Finley Kumble law firm started as a very humble firm in the late 60s. They only had 50 lawyers staffed at the time. However, they had dreams of grandeur.
Thus, their plan was simple: grow their numbers by taking them from other law firms around. From 50, they grew to more than 10 times their staff numbers. When that was enough, they turned their sights anywhere and anyone who would prove valuable to them. They promised a great many things for them to come onboard like big salaries and bonuses.
However, their solution eventually became their problems. These lawyers they were getting were all technically new. Apart from that, there was nothing tying these new lawyers down at all. The firm eventually succumbed to fighting amongst themselves, like hyenas mauling only one carcass. They had also spent quite a lot of money trying to acquire new talent throughout the years that they had accumulated a great deal of debt.
The law firm closed in 1987.
It is the hope of the Outlaw Motor Speedway team that current law firms, the ones that serve justice, learn from these accounts and not make the same mistakes. We hope they can continue to operate and do a great deal of good.