Scott Hodes

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts on lateral partner moves from Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. Scott Hodes is a Principal in Lateral Link’s South Eastern office. He utilizes his experience as a former partner to help partners and associates make lateral leaps in the Florida and Atlanta markets.

With the new year upon us, we look back at an exciting 2013 as we have witnessed a resurgence in the legal industry after enduring a rocky time during the recent recession. As economic and labor market conditions improve, many firms are seeing sustained signs of growth, especially in the South Florida market.

As evidence of this growth trend, one need not look any further than Miami-based Akerman Senterfitt, now known as Akerman LLP. With more than 550 lawyers and government affairs professionals, Akerman recently became the largest law firm in South Florida based on number of attorneys, eclipsing Greenberg Traurig. Akerman reported its third consecutive year of growth, with record gross revenues of $297.5 million and net income of $109.3 million for the 2013 fiscal year. From January 1, 2013, to date, 65 attorneys, including 19 partners, have lateraled in to the firm. During that same time period, only seven attorneys departed the firm.

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Lateral Link Director Scott Hodes gives his assessment on one of the nation’s hottest lateral markets in recent years.

Florida has continued to represent one of the most active states in the country in terms of hiring. 2011 saw a resurgence of positions in almost all areas, which is good news for 2012 and beyond.

Litigation positions represented an overwhelmingly large portion of the lateral market, with corporate positions making up the next largest group of lateral opportunities….

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This week, Lateral Link Director Scott Hodes gives us some insight into the increase in lateral hirings in the Empire State of the South.

Atlanta has emerged as one of the best lateral associate markets in the country. While 2009 was slow as in most markets, 2010 signaled a comeback, and 2011 confirmed the upward trend.

Corporate and litigation positions represented the largest amount of lateral openings, which is fairly typical in large markets. Corporate positions seemed to peak in the second and third quarters, while litigation was fairly steady throughout the year. There was also a huge boom in intellectual property positions, especially in the last three quarters, followed not too far behind by labor and employment, which remained steady throughout 2011….

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