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Former Kirkland & Ellis Partner Talks about Lateral Bubble

02/20/12

Former Kirkland & Ellis Partner Talks about Lateral Bubble


Steven J. Harper, a former partner in the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, has said that there is a bubble developing in the lateral market. Harper is now an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University and writes about law schools and the legal industry on his blog. In his latest column, he says that the idea of paying top dollar to get laterals has caused a bubble in the market.

Harper is of the opinion that the law firm structure itself encourages a frenzy to get as many laterals as possible and a destructive race to the bottom. Each partner works in a ‘silo’ environment where he keeps clients away from other partners; to maximize his own compensation. But this structure makes it easier for a partner to make a lateral move.

Harper is also an author who has published three books so far. His latest work is the legal thriller ‘The Partnership’ set in the backdrop of a law firm.

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