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The best law firm websites
Holland & Hart and Reed Smith topped the list of best U.S. law firm websites in a survey conducted by Internet Marketing Attorney.
The websites of the top 250 firms were assessed randomly between June 2005 and April 2006. An average of 20 minutes was spent surfing each site. Based on design, content, usability, interactivity and intangible qualities, a maximum of ten points were awarded in each category. Holland & Hart topped the list with a score of 45 while Reed Smith followed with 44.
Internet Marketing Attorney has provided law firm personnel and interested end-users guidance with business development practices in the legal profession since 1997.
Deal of the year
Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB) and Golden West Financial Corporation (NYSE: GDW), have signed a definitive agreement to merge, creating a leading retail banking and mortgage lending franchise in many of the nation's most attractive growth markets. This combination strengthens Wachovia's presence in California, Florida and Texas, extending the banking franchise within reach of 55% of the U.S. population
Well-known New York law firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz played lead roles in the deal. The $25.5 billion deal, the biggest merger of the year, was announced on May 7th.
Law firm prosperity unevenly divided
The top-50 U.S. law firms showed an increase of 11.5% in fee income last year, generating $36 billion. Similar trends were observed in 2003 and 2004. But it seems that not everybody got a piece of the pie.
While many firms have enjoyed robust profits, some have struggled to keep pace. While corporate work remained strong, litigation has not fared as well overall. In addition, the number of initial public offerings also fell in 2005. For the first time, no U.S. companies were listed on the top-10 global IPOs of the year.
There has been a marked regional variation in performances of law firms. The best performers were California-based practices. Firms based in Los Angeles and the Bay Area boosted their income by 13% on average. This can be attributed to a strong market for litigation and healthy economy. Firms in DC, Texas and Chicago enjoyed a steady year, while New York firms performed just below the national average in 2005.
According to provisional figures, the top-30 firms by profitability, on average, enjoy more than double the profitability of the other firms surveyed â€” and the gap is growing.
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