Promise and Peril
The American Lawyer | February 2020
Michael Ellenhorn was quoted in an article, ‘Promise and Peril’ in The Laterals Report by The American Lawyer about guaranteed packages that law firms are offering lateral hires and what’s at stake for a firm when they offer these new partners major financial incentives.
“When a lateral partner comes in, it takes time for them to integrate, it takes time for them to migrate clients, migrate files, and perform new billable work for their existing clients, and it takes time to bill that work. And then it takes time to bill that work. And then it takes time to collect those bills,” says Michael Ellenhorn, founder and CEO at Decipher, a competitive intelligence firm used by law firms to improve their lateral hiring strategies.
Those factors help make the case for a minimal guarantee encompassing the “stub” year in which the lawyer makes the move, or a more generous one that covers the next full year as well.
“If a firm needs an individual partner because of their practice specialty of their relations with a certain client, they may be more inclined to be more generous with a guarantee,” Ellenhorn explains.