Wake Up Call: Litigation Talent Demand Soars Post-Covid

July 26, 2021, 1:00 PM

In today’s column, the SEC has seen a jump in lawyer exits since it got a new chairman who brought a focus on tougher enforcement; London-based global law firms notched record revenues and profits in 2020 despite the pandemic; in-house leaders of major corporations urged their colleagues to boost their departments’ hiring of disabled employees.

  • Leading off, litigation departments and boutiques are seeing a surge in demand for talent as the new Biden administration pushes enforcement and courts reopening from pandemic shutdowns swell caseloads, according to a report. Seventh year associates may be the most coveted, although demand is up for all levels, one recruiter said. (American Lawyer)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission has been losing lawyers since the arrival of its new chairman, Gary Gensler, who is known for pushing his attorneys for tougher enforcement. (National Law Journal)
  • London-based global firms Allen & Overy, Ashurst, and Clifford Chance, with fiscal years ending April 30, 2021, reported record revenues and profits for pandemic-stricken 2020, powered by soaring demand for advice on private equity and M&A deals. At Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, average profits per equity partner were close to 2 million pounds. ($2.76 million) (Financial Times)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Global law firms could be hit by new China sanctions that target companies from countries that sanction China. (Law.com)
  • In the second day of Michael Avenatti’s federal wire fraud trial in California, Avenatti cross-examined his former client and alleged theft victim for four hours. (The Recorder) A New York lawyer who pleaded guilty in a scheme to extort $5 million from a convicted securities-fraud defendant was suspended for three years from practicing law. (New York Law Journal)
  • In-house leaders for The Coca-Cola Co., Unilever, and other big U.S. and U.K. corporations urged their fellow general counsel and chief compliance officers to take concrete action to boost inclusion of people with disabilities in their departments. (Corporate Counsel) A former civil rights attorney for Maryland and the city of Baltimore set up a legal referral service to connect Black clients with Black lawyers. (Maryland Matters)

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • Latham & Watkins brought back finance lawyer Christian Adams as a partner in its banking and restructuring and special situations practices in Dubai. He was a counsel at the firm earlier in his career and returns after four years at investment company Dubai Holding, where he was a vice president for legal. (LW.com)
  • New York litigation boutique Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney hired insurance recovery litigator Bradley Nash as a partner in New York. He arrives after 11 years at Schlam Stone & Dolan, where he was a partner and established the firm’s insurance recovery practice. He was earlier at Covington Burling; Carlton Fields hired two business litigators in Florida, Patricia M. Patino in Miami, and Kai Su in Tampa; Murphy & McGonigle recruited Dentons white collar and investigations counsel Bill Walsh as an attorney in Chicago. Walsh was previously a senior enforcement attorney at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group. (MMLawUS.com)
  • Robins Kaplan said its chief financial officer Thomas Schwartz will add chief operating officer to his roles. It named its chief business intelligence officer, Shelley Gilliss, as chief talent and administrative officer. (Businesswire.com)


  • A new report says law firms on average spend far less on research & development, as a percentage of their revenue, than the rest of the business world does. (Artificial Lawyer)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.