Partners Sit Tight in 2010
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After a fast start, the lateral market for partners cooled substantially in 2010, with the lowest number of partner laterals among major law firms since 2000.  The low numbers are attributable to both firms and partners being more cautious; the firms are more cautious about expanding and partners are more cautious about the firms they are joining.

The number of partners that switched firms in 2009 was artificially high, driven by several large firm closures.  A full 15% of partner laterals in 2009 came from 4 firm closures.  2010 lacked the high profile closures but had a significant number of partner moves as a result of a few large mergers.  The Hogan Lovells merger and the Sonnenschein deal contributed 90 laterals to the yearly total.



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