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Law Firm Leaders Seeking to Hire Litigators in 2014
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A recent survey by the 11th annual Law Firm Leaders that was published by American Lawyer indicates hope and modest growth expectations in 2014. The survey further makes a mention of litigation as the hottest area in lateral hires and Washington as the city where most of the action is going to take place.

Further observations according to the published report state that 85 percent of the 200 law firms surveyed expressed worries about underperforming partners and expected overall de-equitizations to rise. Indicators of hope include opinions from at least 70 percent of the 105 law firm leaders surveyed that the economic recovery is going to hold at the current pace; 60 percent expect at least 5 percent year-on-year growth, with 21 percent expecting growth to exceed 5 percent.

  
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Of more interest to individual lawyers, at least 85 percent of law firm leaders believe billing rates would increase by 5 percent or less, while 13 percent expect raises above 5 percent.The fields of practice that would experience the highest lateral hires, according to the majority of the law firm leaders, include litigation, corporate, intellectual property and real estate.

Area wise, the top five cities where lateral hiring action is going to take place include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC.In what may not be boding well for many, sixty-eight percent of law firm leaders surveyed expressed agreement with the statement that some of their partners were “staying on too long” prior to retiring from active practice.

At least 53 percent of law firm leaders expect to de-equitize partners in 2014, while 47 percent claim to have done the job already in 2013.

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