The reasons law firms pursue rainmaker laterals can range from specific needs to fill undermanned practice areas to bigger-picture goals like boosting brand reputation, but industry experts agree that landing a new hire with an established book of business can have many benefits that may not be readily apparent.
Attracting a partner known for bringing in business can deliver a much-needed shot in the arm to the entire firm, according to Jeffrey Lowe, the global practice leader at recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa.
"Not only do they benefit the practice areas in which they're an expert, but hopefully they're so highly regarded that their client might want to use other services at the firm not even connected to their practice area," Lowe said. "So in addition to getting that bump for that specialty, other partners and other groups can really see an advantage by having access to those really high-quality clients as well."
Today's hypercompetitive legal market means that established partners often have their pick when it comes to their next move, but that doesn't mean a rainmaker will always go with the highest bidder.