Lateral Hires: More Pitfalls Than Potential?


Despite the weak legal marketplace, lateral hiring of lawyers at large firms is at record highs. A primary reason is that firms want to buy a book of readymade business that will come with the lawyer to his or her new firm. How much new business? I have heard anecdotal evidence suggesting that firms which used to expect a $1 million book now virtually double that expectation for new partner hires.

Certainly the firm making a lateral hiring decision may not believe it will actually get all of such an amount, but reasons that if the bar is set high enough it might get somewhere close to such an expectation. Also, lateral hires are normally lawyers who work with larger clients whose substantial legal spending often goes with the lawyer they know.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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