Revealed: lateral partner hiring doesn’t work

Almost half of lateral partner hires in London leave the firm they join within five years, and up to a third leave after three, exclusive research reveals.

The research not only highlights the instability inherent in the London recruitment market, but also flags up the different hiring patterns – and success rates – of UK and US firms.

The startling statistics show that a significantly higher proportion of the partners that US firms hire for the core areas of ­corporate and finance leave shortly afterwards.

Twenty eight per cent of all moves were at US firms over the five-year period, with considerably more departures in finance and corporate than at their UK rivals. In finance, 30 per cent of the partners hired in 2005 by UK firms had left by the end of 2010. In US firms the corresponding ­figure was 45 per cent.

US firms lost 42 per cent of their 2007 corporate hires by the end of 2010 compared with 29 per cent for UK firms.

The research, by Motive Legal Consulting, is based on 1,944 partner moves that took place between 1 September 2005 and 31 July 2010.

For more, see this week’s feature.