As Baby Boomer partners retire, law firms face increasing costs and client issues–ABA Journal

Nearly half of the partners in the nation’s top 200 law firms are Baby Boomers or members of the older Silent Generation. And that means there will be a wave of upcoming retirements that will be the most ever experienced by BigLaw.

Sixteen percent of partners will retire in the next five years and 38 percent will retire in the next decade, the American Lawyer (sub. req.) reports, citing preliminary results from a partner compensation survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa.

The impact will be exaggerated because law firm headcount has grown at a slower pace since the financial crisis. The number of lawyers at the largest 100 law firms grew by 4.75 percent each year from 1985 to 1999 and by 5 percent annually from 2000 to 2008. Since 2009, however, the growth in head count has averaged only 1.2 percent a year.

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