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Many law firm leaders take justifiable pride in the progress they’ve made with integrating lateral partners. Yet, retention rates continue to disappoint, and we hear increasingly of laterals having malpractice issues. Our inaugural survey identifies the leading challenge encountered by lateral partners: They do not attract enough new business to their newly-joined firms. This is a business case problem in itself and could be contributing to malpractice risk as new laterals stretch the natural scope of their practice to secure work. Our survey also identifies the cause of this shortfall: Few firms routinely undertake the due diligence that would uncover such issues in advance. It appears that law firms are so adept at undertaking due diligence for their clients that they overlook doing it for themselves. It’s the proverbial “shoemaker’s children” story come to life.

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