Law.com’s The Mid-Market Report
February 26, 2021
“Changes in the economy drive bankruptcy filings, even absent major events like a recession or pandemic,” according to managing partner Eric Israel was featured in a Q&A in Law.com’s Mid-Market Report. The profile was focused on the firm’s success and issues that impact mid-size firms.
In responding to the question about fostering the next generation of legal talent, Eric said, “The next generation is our future. We would all like to see our firms prosper long after we’re gone. To accomplish that, we need to groom our young folks, not just in substantive law (which is also important), but in the ethics of practicing law, marketing and law firm management. All are necessary for a properly working firm.”
Firm Name: Danning, Gill, Israel & Krasnoff
Firm Leader: Eric Israel, Managing Partner
Head Count: 10 attorneys
Locations: Century City (Los Angeles), California
Practice Areas: business bankruptcy, restructuring, insolvency, debtor-creditor disputes, fiduciary representation, related litigation, mediation
Governance structure and compensation model: LLP
Do you offer alternative fee arrangements? Yes, although most of our work is still on an hourly or fixed fee basis.
What do you view as the two biggest opportunities for your firm, and what are the two biggest threats?
Ironically, first off COVID is proving to be an opportunity for my firm, as we are a bankruptcy boutique firm. Changes in the economy drive bankruptcy filings, even absent major events like a recession or pandemic. The world is presently experiencing significant economic changes with the shift to remote working that I predict will have many long-term ramifications. The transition from brick and mortar to online business that was already underway will only accelerate. Manufacturers and even service providers will need to adapt or fail. This will also drive down rents for retail and office space, and in turn increase bankruptcy filings by landlords and lenders. Second, changes in technology drive increases in productivity, but they also can cause severe swings in the economy. For example, the shift away from oil and gas to renewables is affecting the price of oil, which this year crashed and has only started recovering. We have also seen many retail bankruptcies where management failed to shift to online marketing soon enough.
In terms of threats, as a countercyclical practice, the volume of our business typically decreases as the economy grows. Longer periods of economic growth put pressure on insolvency-centered practices. Second, as a boutique law firm, we are only as successful as our relationships. A challenge for an older firm is to maintain strong connections with our historic commerce partners while continually expanding our referral base as both our rainmakers and our clientele age and eventually retire.
There is much debate around how law firms can foster the next generation of legal talent. What advantages and disadvantages do midsize firms have in attracting and retaining young lawyers, particularly millennials?
The next generation is our future. We would all like to see our firms prosper long after we’re gone. To accomplish that, we need to groom our young folks, not just in substantive law (which is also important), but in the ethics of practicing law, marketing and law firm management. All are necessary for a properly working firm. We actively encourage our younger talent to join us at marketing functions and introduce them to ongoing clients to hopefully keep the relationship strong long term.