Recent combinations with energy and technology-centric law firms have helped McCarter & English LLP to keep the number one spot on the list of the biggest firms based in New Jersey, according to the Law360 400.
Newark remains the home city of McCarter & English, but the state’s oldest law firm prides itself on being a regional player in the Northeast, where it has nine offices from Washington, D.C. to Boston.
Among the firms with increased head counts, McCarter saw its roster climb by more than 2.7 percent to 415 attorneys, including a 7.5 percent increase in partners.
Part of the increase stems from the firm’s addition of boutique firm Miller Balis & O’Neil PC and its 14 attorneys, which boosted McCarter’s energy practice and gave it a foothold in Washington, D.C., according to McCarter managing partner Stephen M. Vajtay Jr. The firm unveiled the combination in February 2014.
“There’s a real focus, at least in the current administration, on making the U.S. more energy self-sufficient and maximizing the opportunities for domestic energy production,” Vajtay said. “I think that focus…is going to fuel a lot of U.S.-side energy work for firms that are in the space.”
McCarter in September also announced a combination with East Brunswick-based SorinRand LLP, which specialized in emerging growth and technology companies. SorinRand was embedded in the technological corridor near Princeton, according to Vajtay, who said a tremendous amount of innovation remains centered in the state because of the companies and universities based there.
“We think that area is going to be hot even as more general corporate work continues to increase in activity following the recession,” Vajtay said. “It’s the emerging growth and technology sectors where we see a lot of promise.”