In the excitement to bring a large book of business with shiny new clients into the firm, the benefit and value to the firm’s existing clients often takes a back seat. Don’t let it. Your primary concern should be the clients that ‘brought you to this dance’. If a lateral doesn’t improve the service and value you deliver to your existing clients, there should be a big question mark on why you are proceeding down this path. The best lateral acquisitions are like great mergers: one plus one should equal three.
And there’s a second, more practical reason to keep existing clients in mind. Clients don’t jump to new firms instantly. The process takes time. Focusing on the work that the lateral can do in the interim period is an important part of the success of many acquisitions. If you can’t make that case, look harder. It’s the first step to assure lateral success. Plus, partners stepping up to offer introductions to their clients will give you a sense of the trust they have in that candidate’s abilities as well as give you a sense of the energy your partners have for making the acquisition a success.
Lateral partner due diligence is critical to the success of any law firm's recruiting efforts.