The Times reports on Edwards Gibson’s 78th Partner Moves in its article: ‘Record year for City law firms recruiting from their rivals.’

January 2024

We are delighted to see that The Times, in its article ‘Record year for City law firms recruiting from their rivals’, has reported on the 78th edition of Edwards Gibson’s Law Firm Partner Moves in London. In the article, Jonathan Ames discussed the findings in our latest Partner Moves update, which highlighted 2023 as an exceptional year for Big Law partner hires in London.

2023 saw a record number of 510 partner moves in London, up 13% on the ten-year average and beating the previous high of 501 set in 2017. This is despite 2023 being a relatively soft market for legal services. Ames cites our reasoning for this seeming paradox as an odd mixture of (sometimes dramatic) countercyclical investments by US law firms in private equity related hires, alongside voluntary or involuntary partner moves resulting from perceived or actual structural failings at individual law firms.

The article also notes our finding that Kirkland & Ellis both hired and lost the most partners in 2023 (when discounting Axiom Ince which collapsed, losing 27 Big Law partners to other firms in London last year). Of the 18 partners who departed Kirkland & Ellis for other firms, 10 of these partners were lost due to the internecine talent war between the Chicago-spawned powerhouse and elite Wall Street firm Paul Weiss, which relaunched its London offering in 2023. As Ames highlights, this battle of the firms has clearly been high stakes, with certain partners being offered $20 million annual compensation for their troubles.

In addition to The Times newspaper, Edwards Gibson’s 78th edition of Law Firm Partner Moves in London was also featured in the following publications in January 2024: Bloomberg (article by Meghan Tribe, ‘Elite UK Firms Are Losing London Salary Battle to US Invaders’); City AM (article by Maria Ward-Brennan 'Booming demand for London’s legal market drives record number of City partner moves in 2023'); Law 360 (article by Marialuisa Taddia, '2023 Was Record Year For Partner Hires In London'). 

Click here to read The Times article (paywall).

Click here to read the Bloomberg Law article.

Click here to read the City A.M. article.

Click here to read the Law360 article (paywall).

In case you missed it, read our full 78th edition of Law Firm Partner Moves in London – for more than a decade, the publication of record for the London legal market – click here.