While partner lateral exits were once rare at Cravath Swaine & Moore, the firm has continued to see some decamp for competitors, including three in January. The latest exits illustrate that Cravath is now in the ranks of other New York firms that routinely see partnership shuffles.

According to interviews with leaders of other firms, recruiters and other observers, Cravath is entering a critical time, where its traditional approaches to retaining talent are being tested and its hiring strategy questioned. Meanwhile, a longtime litigation leader at Cravath who maintained a series of deep business relationships, Evan Chesler, retired at the end of 2023, leading some industry observers to question succession planning efforts in this department.