Wall Street Law Firms Are in a Poaching Frenzy. Kind of Like the N.B.A. – The New York Times

Hotshot Wall Street lawyers are now so in demand that bidding wars between firms for their services can resemble the frenzy among teams to sign star athletes.

Eight-figure pay packages — rare a decade ago — are increasingly common for corporate lawyers at the top of their game, and many of these new heavy hitters have one thing in common: private equity.

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This is pushing up lawyers’ pay across the industry, including at some of Wall Street’s most prestigious firms, such as Kirkland & Ellis; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Davis Polk; Latham & Watkins; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Lawyers with close ties to private equity increasingly enjoy pay and prestige similar to those of star lawyers who represent America’s blue-chip companies and advise them on high-profile mergers, takeover battles and litigation.

Numerous people compared it to a star-centric system like the N.B.A., but others worried that higher and higher pay had gotten out of hand and could strain the law firms forced to stretch their budgets to keep talent from leaving.

Source: Wall Street Law Firms Are in a Poaching Frenzy. Kind of Like the N.B.A. – The New York Times