While recent years have seen Silicon Valley, Houston and Boston as the hotbeds for growth focus, the New York legal market is currently, and will continue to be for at least the next 5 years, the most active battleground for lateral movement and disruption, by far. And while this may not be an epiphany for some, the reasons as to why – the macro-changes in the traditional “system” – might be more interesting.

The markets are being disrupted, and NY, in particular, by a dozen or so hyper-aggressive, highly profitable lateral-acquiring firms – generally hailing from outside of NY – that have long since gone on the offensive by actively pursuing, courting and paying huge compensation packages for franchise-grade lawyers. In some cases, this is jarring loose, and enticing to move, majorly valuable (in the way of business, reputational capital and client relationships) partners that would have otherwise never considered moving. And this is where not only financials, but also optics, can get dangerous – see the spotlight that Cravath took when Scott Barshay left, in particular.

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