A Recession Will Push More Lawyers Back to the Office: The Morning Minute

DEMAND DESTINATION – Everybody wants a bigger bite of the Big Apple. Law firm leaders, in a recent survey, overwhelmingly picked New York as the top market in which they see demand growth opportunities through 2024, according to a report this week from Citi Private Bank and Hildebrandt Consulting. “If you talk to any law firm, even if they have 300 lawyers in New York, they will say they want to double their size” in New York, said Brad Hildebrandt, founder of Hildebrandt Consulting and a co-author of the advisory published Wednesday, told Law.com’s Patrick Smith. Despite the market’s many challenges for firms looking to expand, it’s not hard to understand why it remains attractive. According to a billing rate report this year from Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions, non-litigation partners in New York charge an average of $1,189 per hour. “New York is by far and away the most profitable market in the world for law firms and has been for generations,” Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison chairman Brad Karp said in an email. “

FUTURE TENSE – Legal departments would love just one year of predictability when it comes to risk, revenue growth and budgets. Unfortunately, barring a Christmas miracle, 2023 is not going to be that year. As Law.com’s Heather Nevitt writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, the unknowns around the economy, evolving regulatory and geopolitical landscape and rising stakeholder expectations means that legal chiefs will need to be flexible, agile and exhibit strong leadership next year. Economic uncertainty will force in-house departments to (surprise, surprise) do more with less. But, Nevitt notes, they’ll have to make sure employees feel engaged and included. To receive the Law.com Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.

ON THE RADAR – Zendesk, a customer services software company, was hit with a petition for appraisal on Thursday in Delaware Court of Chancery in connection with the company’s Nov. 22 merger with affiliates of Hellman & Friedman and Permira Advisers. The suit was brought by Farnan LLP and Entwistle & Cappucci on behalf of the Arbitrage Fund and other shareholders. Counsel have not yet appeared for the respondent. The case is 2022-1139, Arbitrage Fund v. Zendesk Inc. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar


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