New Survey Shows Professional Growth and Cultural Fit More Important than Compensation in Driving Lateral Partner Moves
Lateral partners are largely satisfied with their transitions as firms continue to make progress in effectively integrating their new hires
Hanover, MD – January 14, 2020 – Lateral partners cited the ability to grow their practice as the number one reason for choosing their current firm, well ahead of compensation, according to the fourth Lateral Partner Satisfaction Survey released today by Major, Lindsey & Africa, the world’s largest legal search firm. They also cited lack of confidence in firm management and strategy as the number one reason for leaving their former firm. The survey was fielded in conjunction with legal market intelligence and research specialists Acritas and based on the confidential responses of 1,367 law firm partners across the United States and abroad.
“In today’s competitive legal industry, the successful integration of high-value lateral hires is crucial for firms’ growth strategies and partners’ long-term success and happiness,” said Jon Lindsey, New York founding partner of Major, Lindsey & Africa and author of the study. “That’s why we’re pleased to see high satisfaction rates among lateral partners and continued efforts by firms to integrate these partners effectively. The lateral partner market will continue to be a dominant part of firms’ competitive strategy in 2020 and beyond, and our research offers some key insights for firms looking to capitalize on this trend.”
Notably, the survey revealed that the financial due diligence undertaken by many lateral partner candidates is shockingly inadequate, and getting worse. Only 29% of respondents reported reviewing financial statements and other key documents before joining a new firm, down from 36.6% in 2014. Additionally, only 55.4% of respondents reported reviewing the partnership agreement they signed when joining, down from 60.7% in 2014.
“While it’s encouraging to see that partners are focused on ensuring that their new firms are a good cultural fit and meet their goals for professional development, it is concerning that so many partners still fail to undertake basic financial due diligence before investing in a new law firm,” Lindsey said.
Additional key findings include:
The full text of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s 2020 Lateral Partner Satisfaction Survey is available here.
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