When Paul Hastings recruited a 43-lawyer restructuring team from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, chair Frank Lopez called it “one of those unicorn situations that happens once in a decade in the legal market.” Yet in post-pandemic hindsight, the Am Law 50 firm’s eye-catching acquisition appears to have been at the front end of a wave of ever-growing group departures involving professionals in different cities.

Less than one year later, a 44-person cybersecurity team from Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith roughly matched the Stroock departure by relocating to Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete in 17 different cities. And within the last month, 130 lawyers have defected from Lewis Brisbois to a nationwide startup created by former labor and employment leaders.

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