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Law360 Names Patrick Dunican One of “America’s Most Innovative Managing Partners”


June 16, 2010

Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons P.C., is featured today in Law360’s current series, “America’s Most Innovative Managing Partners.” The series focuses on leaders of law firms that have successfully navigated the recent recession and are now thriving, thanks to their managing partners’ “fresh approaches, tough decision-making, and willingness to take risks.”

The Gibbons PC logo—shining out from the top of its Newark, N.J., headquarters in a glow of white and blue wattage—is the biggest outward emblem of the firm’s transformation, one that has put it at the apex of marketing and branding in the legal industry and landed its young leader, Patrick C. Dunican Jr., on Law360’s list of Most Innovative Managing Partners.

Mr. Dunican’s selection was based on his strategic, creative approach to the expansion of the firm’s client base, revenues, profits, attorney ranks, facilities, and regional presence, as well as to the enhancement of its national profile and reputation, since his election to Managing Director in 2004. “His vision has translated into success by the numbers or any other standard,” the article states—64 percent increase in revenues, 134 percent increase in profits, 53 percent increase in number of attorneys, and the opening of two new, successful offices.

To achieve the results he has, Mr. Dunican focused on the corporate-style positioning of Gibbons in the broader law firm marketplace, while bolstering his branding efforts with solid fundamentals:

    • training and mentoring of the firm’s attorneys, combined with the empowerment of the next generation of firm leaders, advancement of women and minority attorneys, and recognition of the value of all Gibbons employees;
    • the creation of a 21st century law firm through state-of-the-art facilities and technology, added value for clients, streamlined expenses, and forward-thinking fee arrangements;
    • strategic planning that has included, for example, individual attorney business development and branding plans, as well as a clearly defined target client base and proposed market niche;
  • extensive civic and charitable outreach throughout the regional legal profession, educational institutions, and broader community.

According to the article:

Inside the firm, Dunican was also implementing changes that would help it back up its sleeker, shinier image with the substance for which clients and young lawyers were clamoring. Dunican won national recognition—repeatedly—for driving forward the Gibbons Women’s Initiative and promoting the firm’s first class of exclusively women directors and counsel in 2006. And he was years ahead of many other firms in promoting alternative billing arrangements. By 2005, he had already published an article on the topic, and he began urging partners to consider other means of charging clients outside traditional hourly rates.

Dunican also made the firm a regional force while also avoiding merger opportunities that would have led it astray from its defined client base: the “sweet spot” of major deals for midmarket companies with annual revenues between $100 million and $2.5 billion, and midmarket deals for major companies, he said…And he sacked the firm’s first-year associate program completely in order to bring in experienced judicial clerks.

For the complete Law360 profile of Mr. Dunican, please click here.

Mr. Dunican is a nationally recognized law firm innovator who was honored by Ernst & Young with an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2007. Since he has been Chairman, Gibbons has become recognized nationally for its work, for example, as the only New Jersey-headquartered law firm on the National Law Journal’s inaugural “Midsize Hot List,” which highlighted firms with fewer than 300 lawyers that have found innovative ways to position themselves and have demonstrated creativity and success in recruiting and retaining top talent, developing practice areas, managing operations, and generally navigating the economic downturn more effectively than many larger firms have. The firm’s Corporate Department was included in the most recent DOW JONES Private Equity Analyst lists of “Most Active Law Firms” in the U.S. in private equity transactions. A 2009 winner of the prestigious Catalyst Award, one of the preeminent corporate honors recognizing commitment to the advancement of women in the workplace, Gibbons is consistently ranked among the “Best Places to Work in New Jersey” by NJBIZ magazine, one of the top 100 firms in the nation for diversity by MultiCultural Law magazine, and one of the top 50 firms nationwide for working women by Working Mother magazine.

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