Ford & Harrison

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The labor and employment boutique's revenue fell by about 7 percent last year because of a drop in collections, said C. Lash Harrison, the firm's managing partner. Ford & Harrison budgeted for flat revenue and billed about the same number of hours as in 2008, he said, but bankrupt or slow-paying clients meant it didn't get paid for all of its work. It doesn't matter if you have the work. If you're not getting paid for it, that's a problem, he said. Cost-cutting kept the firm's profit per partner flat. The firm laid off several staff but no associates last year, according to Harrison, and reported four fewer equity partners.

Meredith Hobbs

MONEY
Revenue $74,988,843 7.18%
Revenue per lawyer $396,766 8.66%
Profit per partner $386,989 0.27%
Lawyers
Total lawyers 189 3
Atlanta lawyers 50/26% 5
Partners 106 6
Equity partners 53 4
Atlanta office size rank No. 1

Clients

Aaron's Inc., Black and Decker, CarMax Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Delta Air Lines, HCA Inc., The Home Depot, Lockheed Martin Co., Randstad Staffing, Wal-Mart Stores

Offices

Atlanta (50), Asheville, N.C./Spartanburg, S.C. (13), Birmingham, Ala. (2), Chicago (9), Dallas (5), Denver (5), Jacksonville, Fla. (7), Los Angeles (13), Melbourne, Fla. (2), Memphis, Tenn. (19), Miami (8), Minneapolis (7), New York (8), Orlando, Fla. (12), Phoenix (8), Tampa, Fla. (13), Washington (8)

*Head counts are as of or near Aug. 31, 2008. Office breakdowns may total more than the number of lawyers reported by firms to Am Law as full-time equivalents. Individual office head counts often are derived from sources such as firm Web sites that do not account for FTE status.

Litigation

Defended Danka Office Imaging Co. in a race discrimination and retaliation suit brought by an African-American former salesman for the company in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defense, concluding three years of litigation. The plaintiff is appealing. Jeffrey D. Mokotoff, Terry Price (Birmingham, Ala.) and Elana Gilaad (counsel, New York)

Represented QHG of Springdale, an Arkansas health care company, in an appeal by the estate administrator of a deceased former employee over life insurance benefits, before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A doctor running the hospital's neonatology unit took medical leave after developing bone cancer and then left the company's employ. The company failed to make a claim to its insurance company to extend the doctor's $1,050,000 life insurance policy and the policy lapsed, leaving his heirs with only $15,000 from another policy after his death. The 8th Circuit upheld the district court's ruling that applicable ERISA law does not allow compensatory damages because of a breach of fiduciary duty if the breacher has not gained any money at the plaintiff's expense. The Supreme Court denied cert. Michael A. Coval, Tiffany D. Downs, Delaine R. Smith (Memphis, Tenn.) and Timothy S. Bland

Represented Aaron Rents in a gender discrimination suit. A woman alleged that she was hired to work in an Aaron Rents store in Texas, but the regional manager rescinded the offer because she was not sufficiently attractive. According to the store manager's trial testimony, he said not to hire that fat girl and that he wanted a woman with big breasts and a big butt. A jury decided the company used an attractiveness standard for women that it did not use for men and awarded the woman $5,135.34 in back pay. The plaintiff reached a settlement with Aaron Rents over $52,400 in attorney fees and about $6,000 in court costs. Patricia G. Griffith and Kelly H. Chanfrau (Tampa, Fla.)

People

Came:
Atlanta Thomas C. French from Delta Air Lines

Dallas Matthew R. Scott from Bell Nunnally & Martin

Denver Matthew J. Rita from Holme Roberts & Owen

New York Ronald Kreismann from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker

Went:
Atlanta Raazia K. Hall to Jackson Lewis

All are partners, unless otherwise noted.

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