Paul Hastings: Associates do it better

Paul Hastings has bounced back from a hell of a year with a whopping 84 per cent growth in London revenue.

Following the loss of real estate partners Jeff Bailey and Nigel Heilpern to DLA Piper and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson respectively, the firm has focused on recruiting associates rather than glitzy (and expensive) partners.

This strategy of recruiting associates into partnership has become increasingly popular among City firms with low profitability, which had struggled to compete for star laterals. Norton Rose and Simmons & Simmons have both been prime movers with this.

Hammonds is the latest firm to target associates who have achieved a glass ceiling elsewhere (see The Lawyer, 12 February). Paul Hastings is something of an anomaly among US firms, which usually prefer to attract partners with bumper books of business.

But with results like this, maybe a few more will follow suit.