Some Firms Still Seek Laterals—Including Orrick, Set to Hire 27 Heller Partners
Posted Oct 9, 2008 6:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft may have laid off 131 lawyers earlier this year, but it is still hiring some lawyers away from other law firms in practice areas such as financial restructuring.
The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) says Cadwalader is one of several firms still making lateral hires. Another is Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, set to announce today that it will hire at least 27 partners from the dissolving law firm Heller Ehrman.
Former Heller chairman Barry Levin is among the lawyers joining Orrick, the Daily Journal reports (sub. req.).
Orrick chairman Ralph Baxter told the Wall Street Journalthat the firm is growing despite the possibility of lower profits per partner this year caused partly by the cost of new hires. "We have a long-term growth strategy, and we try to act on that and not to overdose on short-term economic results," Baxter said.
Another firm hiring is K&L Gates, which has hired 45 lateral partners and acquired smaller firms in Texas and North Carolina. Chairman Peter Kalis told the Wall Street Journal why the firm could expand during uncertain times. "We have no debt—no long-term debt, no short-term debt—and therefore have a balance sheet that allows us to grow aggressively into a downturn," he said.