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Kimberly Leach Johnson quoted in article “Economic Forecast”

Business Observer

Below is an excerpt:

Kimberly Leach Johnson
Chair, Quarles & Brady, Naples | Law

Company: Johnson leads Quarles & Brady from her Naples office, and the national firm has grown to nearly 500 attorneys, up from about 400 when she took over as chair one year ago.

Johnson forecasts increases in certain areas of the law, including intellectual property. “Companies are investing in their intellectual property again,” she says. That’s because clients are focusing on developing new products and protecting them from theft by rivals.

Another area of growth is the health care practice, where an aging population is pushing the demand for more services. Also, health care providers need attorneys to help them with regulations that govern their business as government takes a more central role in the health care system.

Industry: It’s no secret that the business of law was hit hard during the recession. “The legal business hasn’t really recovered,” says Johnson. She expects 2015 to be a flat year for the industry. “The demand for legal services around the country is down,” she says. Companies are hiring lawyers in-house to handle matters they used to hire out to law firms, and they’re haggling on fees. “It’s become more competitive,” Johnson says.