US firms pay top dollar for rainmakers

July 6, 2011 Interesting article here in the New York Times about the demand at large law firms for lateral hires that bring in large books of business. According to industry experts, large US law firms are aggressively pursuing top legal talent like never before, offering record pay packages to attract rainmakers as they struggle to maintain revenues amid a weak economy.

Earlier this year, for example, DLA Piper hired Washington DC based litigator James D. Wareham from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, and put him on a pay package of $5 million a year.

The gap between the average partner pay and that received by the highest paid partners has widened, with top lawyers earning as much as 10 times as much as the average. According to a compensation study by legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, this gap is roughly twice the size of a decade ago.

Read more at dealbook.nytimes.com.

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