In the United Kingdom, one of the most heralded lateral moves of 2015 occurred when a four-person team from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), a U.K. Silver Circle firm, departed for Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), a U.K.-Australian powerhouse firm that is currently No. 16 on the Global 100. HSF issued a press release, and the story was covered by Legal Business, Legal IT Insider, BigLaw, Legal Week, and The Lawyer.

That level of fanfare surrounding a lateral move is usually reserved for an M&A or private equity partner with a large and prestigious client following. Yet this four-person team had no clients of their own, and thus had no portable book of business at all. They were all professional staff.

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