As we approach the halfway point of another year of vigorous growth amongst the legal Global Elite, we have seen unprecedented rewards, huge retention efforts and even more care than ever before being shown through extensive and costly due diligence when considering every lateral hire.

The figures that have given rise to these trends in reward, retention and due diligence make a compelling read:

Total GLOBAL 100 Law Firm revenue rose 4.5% in 2015 to $92.7BN (a sum just shy of the GDP of Ecuador, the World’s 63 rd richest country according to World Bank data).

-Above The Law September 2015.

35% of all worldwide legal revenue is now being generated by in-house legal teams.

-Legal Business January 2016.

At current growth rates, Global 100 revenues will top $100BN in the next two years and all Global 100 Law Firms wish to recruit new partners and staff during the next 12 months.

-Above The Law September 2015.

The range of PEP (Profits per equity partner) of the Top 10 of the 2015 Top 100 Global Elite Law Firms is:

$3,185,000 (Gibson Dunn) to $6,600,000 (Wachtell Lipton)

This is the highest it has ever been.

-Above The Law April 2016.

These figures are at an impressive high and demonstrate the worth of the partnerships being created amongst the legal giants. From figures produced by PwC in its 2015 Annual Law Firm Benchmarking Survey, it costs a law firm in the region of four times salary/PEP to lose a fee earner or equity partner. On those figures, it would cost the Global Elite Top 10 somewhere between $12M and $25M dollars to lose just one of its equity partners!

Thus, the importance of a successful Rainmaker hiring and engagement strategy for all major law firms and legal teams is highlighted – as is the crucial nature of the due diligence needed before any such hiring decision is made. These trends are not just confined to law firms such as the Global Elite.

Other law firms are following suit; in particular in markets where good lawyers are thin on the ground. Of course the unprecedented levels of work being carried out by in-house legal teams has also given rise to similar trends of rising reward, retention strategy and careful, detailed hiring strategies for senior in-housers too.

In order to discuss the global trends in this piece, please contact Simon Chadwick Chief Executive, Espero Consulting on +44 845 241 2127, Mobile: +44 7985 198 578 or