Consultants are portending a flurry of law firm mergers in 2022, especially among larger firms, as the tight lateral market shows no signs of abating and the elite pull further away from the rest of the pack.

Many firms are currently in merger talks, consultants told The interest is driven by a few factors. For one, the incredibly competitive lateral market has significantly reduced the opportunities most firms have for acquiring talent, and many don’t expect that to ease up anytime soon—especially early next year after attorneys are paid out their end-of-year bonuses.