Laterals' Taxes Now Fair Game as BigLaw Deepens Vetting

Source: Law360

By Andrew Strickler

In a move some partners may find intrusive, BigLaw is probing deeper into the personal finances of candidates with more calls for would-be laterals to hand over their tax forms, legal recruiting experts said.

View our Lateral Partner Satisfaction Survey Following a broader trend toward greater scrutiny on movable business, partner recruiters say "show me the money" vetting has moved over the last several years from a few outlier firms to a standard feature of the lateral market, including at many top-100 firms.

While some lawyers aren't happy with the trend — or any implication they're being less than truthful about the size of their practices — others have accepted an extra level of fact-checking as a sign of the times for the legal profession.

Jeffrey Lowe, who leads the law firm practice at legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, estimated that about one in four or five of the largest 100 U.S. firms now asks to see partner candidate tax forms, up from a bare few a decade ago.

"It's like the old Reagan saying, "Trust but verify,"" Lowe said. "Firms are becoming more savvy and bold about doing all necessary due diligence and trying to make sure they're not making a mistake.

Read more of this feature at Law360.


Connect with one of our experienced recruiters to explore new horizons.