Laterals and Malpractice: Clear and Present Danger

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring lateral partners was an inherently risky endeavor. In 2017, insurance broker Ames & Gough released a survey of legal professional liability insurers specifically calling attention to the risks associated with laterals. That year, nearly half the insurers Ames & Gough polled – which represent the majority of the Am […]

Lateral Recruitment: Just How Portable Is That Book?

Hiring lateral partners can be an irresistible proposition for law firms seeking immediate growth. According to a recent survey by Decipher Investigative Intelligence, 79 percent of law firms listed business generation as the first or second most important quality in a lateral candidate. And yet, on this point, lateral hiring leaves much to be desired […]

Minding Your LPQs: How Firms Should Draft and Deploy the Lateral Partner Questionnaire

The lateral partner questionnaire (LPQ) should not be a mere formality – instead, it should be considered your first line of defense in lateral partner hiring. Sadly, too many law firms leave themselves vulnerable by starting with an  incomplete LPQ or failing to insist on thorough completion. Indeed, in a review of more than 1,000 […]

Associate Hiring: Who Has the Hot Hand?

Halfway through the year, 2021 is proving to be The Year of the Associate. In Corporate alone, the AmLaw 100 hired 724 associates as of the end of May – an increase of 53 percent over the four-year average for the same period. It’s truly a market-changing level of movement: More than 270 associates have […]

2021 Could Be the Year of the Associate: Buyer Beware

Decipher tracked lateral associate moves in the first quarter of 2021 and each of the four years prior. The data shows a market-changing level of movement in specific regions and practice areas where young lawyer mobility is on the rise. Set aside the racy headlines about same-day offers and six-figure signing bonuses: Data provides actual […]

Red Flags on the Rise

In the second year dominated by COVID-19, one major pandemic trend holds true: Fewer lateral lawyers are changing firms, but those who are moving are riskier bets.   Indeed, before COVID-19, the “red flag rate” for candidates who received a full screening from Decipher was 34 percent. During the coronavirus crisis, that number jumped to […]

Avoiding the Bad Client Surprise

Nearly 20 percent of lateral partner candidates neglect to provide a comprehensive list of their clients to their prospective firms, according to Decipher Investigative Intelligence research. This means that law firms that rely on the lateral partner questionnaire (LPQ) alone take serious risks – reputational, financial and otherwise – of taking on radioactive representation. Imagine […]

Your Next Lateral: Book of Business or Short Story?

Planning to recruit laterals in 2021? Consider this: 62 percent of laterals fail to bring their promised book of business. 73 percent of clients say they do not follow laterals to their new firms. The failure to transition (or manifest) a book of business is among the primary reasons less than 10 percent of lateral […]

How COVID-19 Shaped Lateral Hiring Report

A SPECIAL DECIPHER REPORT How COVID-19 Shaped Lateral Hiring – and What Happens Next Who Moved, Who Didn’t, and What Law Firm Leaders Should Be Asking in 2021 Overview When the coronavirus shut down all facets of everyday life in 2020, law firm lateral hiring was no exception: Nationwide, lawyer moves among the 500 largest law […]