Approximately half of the attorneys in Davis & Kuelthau’s Labor and Employment Practice Group are departing to start their own firm.
Ten of the 24 attorneys in the firm’s practice area are leaving no later than April 5 to form Buelow Vetter LLC.
Clifford B. Buelow and Mark F. Vetter from Davis & Kuelthau’s Brookfield office will be named partners at the new firm. Three other lawyers from the Brookfield office – Robert H. Buikema, Mary L. Hubacher and Joel S. Aziere – will also join Buelow Vetter.
Buikema will serve as firm president.
In addition, Mark L. Olson, Daniel G. Vliet, Matthew J. Flanary, Nancy L. Pirkey and Susan M. Love will join Buelow Vetter from Davis & Kuelthau’s Milwaukee office.
“This is not a situation which was contentious and we wish them the best, but we’re certainly going to miss them,” said Michelle M. Friedman, Director of Marketing.
None of the departing attorneys could immediately be reached for comment.
In a statement, Buelow indicated that, “while we are still working to ensure an orderly transition from our current firm, we expect to complete that transition no later than April 5, 2010.”
Friedman attributed their departures to “entrepreneurial spirit” and a need to branch out, though some had been with the firm for more than two decades.
She conceded that the losses will impact the firm’s bottom line, but also said there is plenty of experience left to absorb the workload and provide the same quality service.
“From a business perspective when you lose 10 people, you are also losing the revenue they were producing,” Friedman said. “But when you look at it side by side with overhead, things tend to balance out in a good way.”
Friedman added that she doesn’t expect the firm will aggressively recruit replacements for the departing attorneys.
“If there is a good fit with the firm, we will pursue it, but not from the angle of we’re losing 10 attorneys, we need to hire someone immediately,” she said. “If for some reason we didn’t have the ability to provide the level of service our clients need, then we would absolutely look to fill a spot.”