Count it for the books. San Diego lawyer Guy Halgren of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton has been re-elected as the firm’s chair for his sixth consecutive three-year term.
In doing so, he joins a list of other individuals who have won a title for the sixth time this year.
The firm, which has 770 lawyers, said that Halgren ran unopposed and is the first Sheppard Mullin chair to hold the position for more than three terms.
In 2001, when he first took over as chair, the firm had 292 attorneys. Under his tenure, the firm’s revenue has increased from $149 million to $560 million, the firm said, and according to The Daily Journal in Los Angeles, during his tenure, the firm added more than 230 lateral partners in insurance, real estate and health care, among other practices.
Halgren took an interview with Big Law Business’s Gabe Friedman. Below is an edited transcript.
Big Law Business: Looking forward, any plans for the sixth term?
Halgren: So more of the same I would say. It’s probably better to look backwards. In 2001, when I started there were about 290 lawyers in the firm and four offices, all in California, and now we’ve got 700 attorneys and 15 offices. We’ve grown very consistently.
Big Law Business: So more growth?
Halgren: I’m not sure we’re going to open more offices. We’re very happy with where we have offices. One of our mantras over the past couple years has been growing into our skin. At any given time we’re looking for a few different places where we could open offices but we don’t have anything now. We’re definitely going to continue growing into our skin.
Big Law Business: Why is growth good?
Halgren: Growth for growth sake is not a good thing. But doing more important things for our client is important. And that’s our goal. We need to have more people in more places generally to do that.
Big Law Business: Any predictions for the future?
Halgren: I would say that growth in total for the industry will slow down because there are so many other inputs now to providing a legal product. Technology, knowledge management — those are a few. Just to provide the best product possible, we have to provide more of those, so that part of our budget has increased tremendously. I think the disrupters we’ve seen in the last five years will hold even more importance. We’ll see even more disruption in the next five years than we did in the last ten years. Artificial Intelligence, more legal outsource processing, more alternative staffing, more use of big data.