All eyes on in-house

It’s time for firms to step up their retention policies. A survey by The Lawyer, published today, reveals that more than 65 per cent of private-practice solicitors would consider moving in-house – a stat that points to a dramatic rise in the popularity of working for the client rather than the firm.

What’s more, some 80 per cent of associates have the same stance, while over half of lawyers open to an in-house move have been in the same post for more than four years.

The survey of 2,549 lawyers, including 1,344 at law firms, is a startling sign of fee-earners’ willingness to sacrifice private-practice cash for the advantages of in-house roles, such as better hours and a sense of being closer to the business.

City firms take note: investment-friendly US firms aren’t the only ones out there fishing around for recruits from UK rivals. And recruits are looking to move for lifestyle reasons, not just for money.

With rattled American firm Dewey & LeBoeuf understood to be capping its pitiable top dogs’ profit shares at a mere $2.5m (£1.6m) per year and promising deferred payments in 2014, it’s no wonder some partners are getting disillusioned with private practice.