While the legal market looked bleak in the early dark days of the global pandemic, the industry has shown remarkable resilience. In the third quarter of 2021, legal demand reached record year-over-year levels, allowing companies to sharply increase their rates. and productivity levels reached their highest numbers in the third quarter in three years. Of course, these growth rates are mainly due to the low reference levels for 2020, but demand has risen sharply compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, while productivity has declined by less than 1% compared to 2019. Yet the third quarter of 2021 was reminiscent of previous highs for the legal sector at almost every major measure – not bad for an industry just 18 months away from the depths of the crisis. As the global pandemic progresses, with new concerns about possible new virus variants and lockdowns, the global legal industry continues to fight back, trying to restore for the coming year something that is almost normal in work operations and customer service. Clio is driving the future of legal services for lawyers and their clients through a range of cloud-based solutions, including legal practice management, client onboarding and CRM, online payments, and client-lawyer communication and collaboration software. Clio has been transforming the industry for over a decade with 150,000 customers in 100 countries and licensing to 66 bars worldwide. Clio continues to be the industry leader with initiatives such as the Legal Trends Report, the Clio Cloud Conference and the Clio Academic Access Program. Clio has been recognized by G2 Crowd as a Deloitte Fast 50 and Fast 500 company and market leader.
For more information, see clio.com. Paul Weiss entered the Northern California market in 2020 and made a splash with Boies Schiller`s new hires. This list was expanded in 2021 to include Orrick and Kirkland`s partners. Melinda Haag, Walter Brown and Randy Luskey of Orrick joined the litigation department as partners, while Jeremy Veit, M&A partner at Kirkland, joined the corporate division. Read the most comprehensive study on the current state of legal practice. Learn how the pandemic has changed client expectations and the tools and processes businesses are using to adapt their businesses to a new, more flexible era of legal service delivery. We looked at the performance of tens of thousands of lawyers and asked more than 1,000 lawyers and consumers what matters most to them as they navigate a new world of cloud-based legal services. We present up-to-date data on key business opportunities and hourly rates across geographies and business areas to provide your law firm with information that drives success. We show how lawyers spend their money and identify strategic investment opportunities that match the new needs of the legal client. As has become the norm for much of 2021, corporate clients have increasingly sought outside expertise to help them navigate these choppy waters, so typical corporate legal spending on outside lawyers in 2021 is higher than ever before – in fact, 35% higher than typical spending in 2016.
BRG professionals have earned forty-seven rankings in the eight sub-categories of Who`s Who Legal`s Consulting Experts 2021. The Legal Trends Report provides information on the most important topics facing the legal profession. By analyzing aggregated and anonymized data from tens of thousands of lawyers in the U.S., supported by extensive surveys, the report provides unique insights into law firm efficiency, hourly rates, and other key indicators of success. We assessed how past challenges have led to opportunities to deliver more client-focused legal services in 2021 and beyond. Quinn Emanuel has opened a new office in Miami with 10 attorneys from Hogan Lovells and Greenspoon Marder. This was the company`s third new outpost in 2021 and was indicative of the moves Big Law has taken in new regional markets in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. New hires include John O`Sullivan, litigation partner at Hogan Lovell, and Olga Vieira, commercial litigation partner at Greenspoon Marder. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined the team as a councillor. Looking at the global trends we`ve seen in the legal sector throughout 2021, we see that law firms have the opportunity to take advantage of new growth opportunities, but it won`t be an easy path in a rare cross-engagement, where Cravath brought in a former Debevoise & Plimpton Bank regulatory partner in Portilla.
This was Cravath`s first fullback hire since 2018. In retrospect, it could have anticipated Cravath`s decision later in 2021 to change its strict partner compensation system. As corporate deals picked up in late 2020, there were signs that the big legal talent market was about to take off. Yet no one could have predicted the breakneck pace of lateral movement in 2021. Sharplegal collects and reviews empirical market data that law firms use to develop successful strategic plans. “There has never been such an aggressive hunger and willingness to pay whatever it takes to attract and retain top talent,” said Kay Hoppe, legal recruiter. “There is simply nothing quiet about this market. It`s competitive.
It`s exhausting. And it will redefine the ranking of companies. In addition, clients don`t seem willing to sit down and wait for their law firm to figure it all out on their own. Increasingly, corporate legal departments are developing mechanisms to control, monitor and evaluate their legal expenditures and the effectiveness of legal service delivery. To this end, companies are expected to put more and more pressure on their external law firms in 2022 to demonstrate a higher level of efficiency and offer more innovative pricing and delivery processes. Looking ahead, many legal market forecasters say helping corporate clients manage regulatory uncertainty will be an important area of growth as more and more local and national governments around the world begin to adjust their regulatory requirements to better address the lingering issues of the pandemic and some of the compliance issues – such as those related to government fraud and systems. illicit financiers – which has become all too obvious during the pandemic. Regulation on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues is also expected to increase. The projected increase in regulatory issues is reflected in corporate clients` forecasts for legal spending, with regulatory practice expected to be the highest growth area in 2022.
After an explosion in 2020, Davis Polk opened the checkbook in early 2021 after announcing plans to make his compensation model more flexible to better attract and retain top-tier partners. Marquardt, a financial crime specialist who came from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, joined Davis Polk`s financial institutions group in Washington. Previously, he led the foreign investment and security practice at Cleary, where he worked for over 25 years. Over the past year, corporate clients` legal needs have increased, so overall legal spending is expected to remain healthy through 2022. However, this increased share of the portfolio will only be given to law firms that can effectively use their budgets to help corporate legal departments solve the challenges they and their organizations will face in the coming year. Looking ahead, market optimism on legal spending is currently at its highest level in a decade. Globally, four in 10 corporate clients expect legal spending to increase over the next year; Only half of them (20%) expect a decline. This is the highest percentage expecting an increase and the lowest expecting a decline in the last 10 years. Kirkland entered new markets in 2021, including Salt Lake City and Austin, as Big Law expanded to wider regions after its successful experience working remotely. The company planted a flag in Austin with the hiring of Kaercher, a former co-chairman of Baker Botts` private equity group. Kirkland`s trip to Texas was one of the most successful market entries for any company, as the private equity powerhouse now has about 300 lawyers in the Lone Star State, spread across Houston, Dallas and now the capital.
Okke`s move from Skadden to Kirkland was notable as it was the first lateral addition to Kirkland`s huge restructuring group since 2009. Willkie Farr & Gallagher opened an office in Los Angeles with three Enable partners: Alan Epstein, Michele Mulrooney and Alex Weingarten. The company expanded after launching in Chicago in 2020, and expanding its West Coast presence has been a strategic focus for the company. Cooley has made waves in Chicago, hiring nine partners from local law firms to capitalize on what the firm describes as an active group of clients on the Midwestern scene. Early hires included former Winston & Strawn partner Rick Ginsberg, former DLA partner Piper Greg Grossman and former Latham partner Laurie Bauer. Cooley`s specialty of representing emerging companies in the technology sector has helped it become one of the fastest-growing law firms over the past decade, with revenues more than tripling since 2010. The firm`s Chicago office ended the year with more than 40 lawyers. Lelling oversaw the prosecution in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal as a former U.S. attorney general from Massachusetts.
But he embarked on a new path this year, which was part of an effort to expand Jones Day`s economic investigation and judicial practice in New England. Nyong`o joined Cleary from WilmerHale as an antitrust lawyer who strengthened the firm`s leadership position in the booming market. Cleary was the last Wall Street company to venture into the San Francisco Bay Area, led by clients like Google and Nvidia.