Law Firms

US Law Firm Hiring in London Boosts Lateral UK Partner Moves to a 5-Year High

Increased hiring in London by United States and transatlantic law firms has helped make lateral partners a hot commodity there, boosting the number being brought in to a five-year high.

Led by Reed Smith and Mayer Brown, which recruited 33 and 29 partners in London, respectively, from 2007 through 2011, the U.S. firms last year increased their overall lateral partner hiring there by 25 percent, Legal Weekreports, based on the publication’s annual survey of law firms.

Last year, the 45 law firms participating in the survey reported hiring 116 lateral partners. The figures for 2010 and 2009 were 91 and 67, respectively.

“We have always been full-service here, but we did not have a deep enough bench in areas including finance and restructuring,” said managing partner Mike Francies of the London office of Weil Gotshal. “Fund formation was the missing piece in our private equity practice.”

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