LeClairRyan

RICHMOND — The Richmond-based law firm of LeClairRyan is shutting down.

The firm’s partners voted to commence an orderly wind down of its business, LeClairRyan announced late Wednesday afternoon.

The decision comes at a time of continuing departures at LeClairRyan this year, including Gary LeClair, who co-founded the firm in 1988 and served as its longtime CEO. He joined crosstown rival Williams Mullen earlier this week.

Besides losing lawyers, LeClairRyan also has closed offices, and the firm’s gross revenue continued to decline.

“On behalf of my colleagues, we are deeply saddened to make this announcement today,” said Erik Gustafson, the former CEO of LeClairRyan. “Through our transition we will continue to focus first and foremost on the success of our clients, as we have always done. I am thankful to all of the clients who have chosen to work with our team over the last 30 years, and I am grateful for the exceptional lawyers and professionals who continue to work with dedication and determination towards winding down the firm in an orderly fashion.”

LeClairRyan was ranked No. 179 among the nation’s law firms based on revenue in 2018, according to the latest Am Law 200 figures.

LeClairRyan was created in 1988 as a venture capital legal boutique operation to help entrepreneurs, startup businesses and venture capitalists. LeClairRyan grew from two attorneys into a full-service firm with hundreds of lawyers working at one time in more than two dozen offices and representing some of the largest corporations in the world. The firm has an office in Roanoke.

LeClairRyan’s gross revenue fell from $163 million in 2015 to $122.4 million in 2018, according to the latest Am Law 200 figures.

The law firm said it decided to wind down its operations, and the partners concluded that doing so “was in the best interest of our clients, colleagues, and creditors.”

The firm, through its dissolution committee, is working in cooperation with its lender to ensure the continuity of client service until such time as the firm ceases to actively practice law and turns its attention to post-practice activities.

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