If 2010 was a year for staying put, 2011 was the year that partners jumped back into the lateral market with full force. In the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, 2,454 partners left or joined Am Law 200 firms. That was a 22 percent increase from 2010, when only 2,014 changed jobs—the lowest number of partner moves since 2000. This year’s figure was consistent with the annual average of 2,458 partner moves from 2005 to 2009 and was higher than the number of lateral moves in 2007, when 2,423 partners moved.
The dissolution of Howrey in March contributed to the increased activity, adding 208 partners to 2011′s total. But the 2,246 non-Howrey moves this year still represent a 12 percent increase from 2010, and was higher than 2006, when 2,153 partners switched firms.
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