White & Case is asking its partners to step up their contributions to the firm.According to Legal Week, the law firm told partners at a meeting in Washington, D.C., last month that average billable hours are down and some partners would be asked to leave as a result.Gross revenue at White & Case rose about 4 percent in 2011, but its profits per equity partner fell about 5 percent, the Am Law Daily reports.London managing partner Oliver Brettle responded to the Legal Week report with this comment to the publication: “Given the new economic realities, we have undertaken a renewed focus on partner performance, aimed at reinforcing our commitment to clients and innovating how we deliver service to them. To do this, we are asking our partners to step up towards the same level of contribution as partners at our peer firms.”Brettle told the Lawyer that billable hours aren’t the only focus. “Obviously an important factor is client chargeable hours, but of course you also need to look at the partners’ ability to win business and the profitability of that business,” he said.
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