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Where Lateral Hiring Will Be Most Active In 2019

Sam Reisman LAW360.COM

Law360 (January 1, 2019, 12:03 PM EST) -- Buoyed by a strong economy and expectations of continued growth in demand, the increasingly dynamic lateral market shows no signs of slowing in 2019, with some regions more primed for activity than others, according to multiple recruiters and industry reports.

Law firm leaders, primarily in U.S.- and U.K.-based firms, pointed to New York as the market with the best growth opportunities in 2019 and 2020, according to one recent report, and remain bullish on London in spite of Brexit. Stateside, they are eyeing regulatory work in Washington, D.C., and technology- and energy-related demand in California and Texas, respectively.

"Washington [D.C.] and New York are generally saturated," according to Jeff Lowe, global practice leader of Major Lindsey & Africa's law firm practice group. "Virtually every firm is already there, and that's why you're seeing firms flock to those other markets to chase the opportunities that are there ... I think recent trends indicate acquisition of laterals is the fastest way to do it."

Asked to assess where recruitment was expected to be most active, recruiters told Law360 that across all geographies, practices related to privacy and cybersecurity remain in hot demand.

"There are still a limited number of people who are expert in it, and so the competition for those who are truly well-versed in it is very keen, and it's certainly much less than the number of firms there are," Lowe said.

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