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  • Private Practice – Team Move

    Lawyers are conservative by nature, but they do make bold moves from time to time. A strong, niche-area finance team was referred to us through a mutual contact. Due to the changing legal-market landscape, they wished to move to another law firm together as a team.

    During our initial meeting we discussed the status of all foreign and major domestic law firms, and prioritized which law firms to approach first, and in what order, according to their needs. Working from the top of their priority list, we approached six firms, and five came back to us with a declared interest to speak.

    The team decided to further prioritize two firms that seemed to offer the best fit for their professional and cultural needs. Things became serious (in a positive way) rather quickly. They were in a good position and wanted to get the best deal for themselves and for their team.

    When we represent job seekers to law firms we like to go straight to the decision makers, whether it’s the Managing Partner or a Hiring Partner. It’s just better to work with more complete information.


    Looking out for everyone’s individual needs

    The discussions included Partner status (equity or non-equity), future promotion of Associates, salary packages for each year Associate and more. The firm this team eventually joined worked closely with us, and asked us how they could be more attractive to the team. We had many talks to work out the nuances of each member’s needs, and the firm was receptive and highly communicative. It was clear that they wanted the team and the team sensed this as well. In the end, that probably made the difference.

    The other firm was interested, but hiring was a centralized function based outside Japan, and they didn’t really engage with us (or the team) enough to differentiate themselves. They didn’t do anything wrong, but the other firm did everything right and they made it personal, meeting professional and cultural goals. Everyone wants to be happy at work, and starting on the right foot is crucial to establishing a positive long-term relationship.

    The team is still there today and the practice is stronger than before. One of their Senior Associates made Partner recently as well.


    Lesson:

    We do all the work and you make all the decisions. Our part starts with knowing the market in depth, and understanding how or why something makes sense (or doesn’t) for your goals. This takes years of experience and years of forming relationships.