"I was at a law firm managers conference recently," said Bartlestone, "and Peter Giuliani was talking about using our firm as an example of how you can do very good law, with complex matters, make a terrific living and you dont have to be in a mega-firm."
Giuliani reportedly pointed to Rogins blend of expertise in business, insolvency and commercial practice areas as a model for success and adaptability in a mid-sized firm. Bartlestone observes that "a Great Recession is not a bad thing for a [financial] workout group. We have a very strong practice on the mergers and acquisitions side, and we have a very strong practice on the restructuring and workouts side. So if the economy is moving one way or another, were fine.
If the economys stagnant, nobody does anything.
But were small enough to be very flexible, and adjust to what the marketplace is doing. Its one of the advantages of a small firm. We can turn quickly."
At Hartford-based Cantor Colburn, an intellectual property firm with offices in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Detroit, managing partner Phillip Colburn said 2010 "was sort of a transitional year. The first half was still like we were deep in the recession. The second half really started to turn around. You could see a really significant meaningful change in the volume of work coming down the pike. We really started aggressively growing by the fourth quarter. To jump ahead to today, were back ahead to our peak 2008 numbers, with attorneys and revenue."
The firm, which is No. 9 in the Trib 25, found opportunities in the downturn.
When General Motors was reducing its in-house patent lawyer staff, Colburn said, "we were fortunate to bring some GM people on board. Now it made it a lot easier for GM to expand [its business] with us, because they get the same review they got" from the automakers in-house department.
In fact, Colburn said, "a recession is somewhat of an opportunity for us, because a lot of the IP firms in the large cities are more focused on litigation."
Cantor Colburn is happy to do the all-important work of maintaining the legal force of patents and trademarks important and lucrative, if not glamorous work.
Cantor was ranked ninth in patents issued in 2010, and was in the top 20 nationally for new trademarks, which are "growing by leaps and bounds," Colburn said.
Another intellectual property firm is taking its place on the Trib 25 for the first time this year.
Hartford-based McCormick, Paulding & Huber is the smallest firm on the list, with just 15 lawyers, but it has built up a portfolio of patent and trademark clientele that stretches back many decades.
The firm filed patents for many of the famous firearms of the Connecticut Rivers "Gun Valley" starting in the late 19th century. Today, thanks to computer upgrades, it directly handles patent and trademark servicing for clients in Asia and Europe.