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PRIVACY PUSH - Demand is surging for data privacy expertise in Big Law, driving a significant uptick in associate lateral moves, Law.com’s Dan Packel reports. Research from due-diligence-focused consulting firm Decipher indicates that associate hires in data privacy are up 35% in January through March compared with an average of the three prior years. As you might imagine, the jump in demand for data privacy lawyers from law firms has coincided with a jump in demand for data privacy work from clients. Alan Friel, who moved last month from Baker & Hostetler to Squire Patton Boggs to serve as its deputy chair of data privacy and cybersecurity, said associates had been billing a minimum of 2,000 hours over the past two years, with many hitting 2,300 hours. Meanwhile, these attorneys aren’t exactly growing on trees. “There’s absolutely no shortage of work,” said Friel. “There’s more a shortage of people who know what they’re doing.”

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