Law firms 'flush with cash' are hiring larger lateral groups
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Law firms seeking to grow are hiring larger lateral groups of lawyers, acquiring as many as 10 or more lawyers at a time.
Law.com has a story on the lateral moves this year and the possible reasons why group size is larger.
Some observers told Law.com that lateral moves often pick up after the first quarter, when many partners learn compensation details. Others said lawyers are reassessing priorities.
Ira Coleman, chairman at McDermott Will & Emery, described the movement as a “spring awakening” following the bunker mentality prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawyers may want to jump to firms that did well during the pandemic, or they may be seeking firms that give more autonomy or advancement opportunities to lawyers, he told Law.com.
Law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann of the Zeughauser Group saw the moves as part of a desire to grow.
“Many firms are flush with cash, and they are investing that money in growth,” Zimmermann told Law.com. “At the same time, about 20% of the market has had a disappointing two to three years. Those firms are increasingly becoming the outliers, and high-quality teams are starting to question whether they are on the right platform.”
Law.com highlighted these group moves this year:
• Paul Hastings hired 43 restructuring lawyers from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.
• Norton Rose Fulbright hired 11 lawyers from Minneapolis litigation boutique Blackwell Burke.
• Fennemore Craig hired 24 lawyers from Southern California-based Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden.
• Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein hired 16 lawyers from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.
• Reed Smith hired 11 lawyers in real estate finance from Akerman.
• Baker & Hostetler hired five lawyers and 15 other professionals on an intellectual property team from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.