By Anthony E. Davis and Katie M. Lachter
Lawyer movement from one law firm to another has become commonplace, almost routine. Associates often change firms several times before finding a professional "home"; partnerships seldom last the length of an attorney's career, as was the norm for earlier generations. In the current economic environment, these trends are exacerbated as firms downsize to cut costs, or dissolve, so that attorney departures are often involuntary. Because of the sometimes conflicting legal, financial and ethical implications of lateral attorney movement, a large body of literature has developed on this topic. In 1998, the late Steven C. Krane wrote about the legal and ethical principles that are in play when partners change firms, and reviewed the developing case law surrounding the disputes between departing partners and their former firms.
Given that lawyer mobility has only increased in the intervening years, this, the first of two articles, will commence a review of the developments since 1998. These articles will seek to distill the legal and ethical principles that have emerged from the growing body of case law and commentary on lateral movement, and provide guidance both for departing lawyers and the law firms that are either losing or acquiring an attorney.
Read the full New York Law Journal article, Do's and Don'ts of Lateral Attorney Movement: Managing the Risks
Reprinted with permission from the March 5, 2012 issue of New York Law Journal. © 2012 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.
This publication has been prepared by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. It is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship.