By Sam Reisman, Law360
Recruiters say the lateral market has bounced back from its somewhat quiet start earlier in 2017 and are expecting a robust 2018, fueled primarily by corporate, mergers and acquisitions and private equity work, with a particular emphasis on the technology sector, as well as increasing demand for data privacy and cybersecurity expertise.
The relative slowdown in lateral activity was due in part to the wariness created by a surprising election and uncertainty about where President Donald Trump's administration would focus its priorities, specifically with regards to shifts in regulation and new legislation, recruiters said.
"After a somewhat slow start to the year, which we attributed to the surprise election results, I think the market's come to grips with what the world’s going to look like at least for the next three years or so and has factored that in, and it seems it's really back to business as usual," said Jeffrey Lowe, global practice leader of Major Lindsey & Africa's law firm practice group.
"Anything that's related to cyber or privacy is as hot as can possibly be right now," Lowe said. "You're seeing more and more data breaches, and you're also seeing the law firms worry about data breaches of their own IT systems and the potential for liability related to that. So that's easily the hottest thing in the market right now."
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