UK Lateral Partner Market:
The UK legal market is more advanced and more densely-populated than any other outside America, with London being the center of the UK market. As such, it is very much the legal recruitment focal point of Europe. The last 5 years has seen a considerably high number of lateral partner hires, especially in the Transactional areas but also including Corporate Crime/Investigations and Corporate Tax .
Lateral Partner Hiring:
A senior lateral hire can bring in new clients, deepen a firm’s expertise and broaden its capabilities – but get it wrong and as mentioned earlier it can be costly. Deciding who to hire is difficult as most talented and experienced partners are still reticent to promise delivery of specific clients or ‘x’ million pounds worth of business in the coming year. This understandable caution has to be balanced with the reasonable needs of existing partners who want to safeguard PEP. If however the decision to hire has to be made immediately to avoid missing out on a lateral who could assist in building a new department, raising the profile of the firm, and of course increasing turnover/profitability, the key is to ensure an appropriate and measured integration process.