Managing Partner » Partner-Poaching Epidemic In London

Partner-Poaching Epidemic In London

Skyscrapers in financial center City of London, London, UK.

June 1, 2018

According to The Financial Times, lateral movement of Biglaw partners has become so frantic in the UK that a London firm has initiated a policy of paying top partners up to six times what it pays others in order to retain them. The article notes that U.S. firm Kirkland & Ellis recently announced that it had “poached another partner from a ‘magic circle’ firm,” Allen & Overy. London firms are vulnerable to predation by U.S. firms because they have lower revenues, and are more invested in the tradition of paying comparably aged partners similarly. According to the article “it is time to accept that the law business has moved on from the era of pyramid-shaped firms with small equity partnerships at the top and multitudes of junior lawyers below working all hours to join the elite,” and opines that a fundamental change is taking place in the social contract between the law firm, the lawyer and the client. Routine work is going in-house. Corporations are using outside talent for only the most complicated and crucial challenges, and they are not willing to subsidize the training of associates by overpaying them to perform mundane legal tasks.

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