Droit-Inc recently wrote that lateral transfers—where lawyers change firms—more than doubled last year in the United States.
A trend that we also observe close to home, while most firms refer to labor shortages.
The problem is that the usual candidate screening processes don’t always find the skeletons that might be in a lawyer’s closet.
While recruitment is done with attractive bonuses based in particular on what a lawyer can bring to the growth of a firm, Reuters recently mentioned that nearly half of the lawyers marauded last year by the fifty largest firms Americans had inflated their turnover.
It’s a cold shower for a firm that realizes that it has recruited a mythomaniac. Or worse, a fraudster or stalker.
Thus, stories abound of a star rookie being drafted from the contestant who turned out to be a fraudster or abuser.
And the price of being wrong is high: in the six figures when taking into account remuneration, recruitment costs, integration and the costs incurred when it is necessary to start the process over again.
Not to mention the reputational damage when you discover that a star associate has a heavy past.
This is why the major American firms hire investigation specialists to dig into the past of a potential candidate: they question their colleagues and opponents, they search the court records, they list their interventions on the Internet… some even go to scrutinize the dark recesses of the Dark Web to ensure the good morals of a candidate.
As for the volume of business a candidate says they can bring with them, investigators interviewed by Reuters say they note that the value of clients displayed by lawyers has doubled since the start of the pandemic, noting that many are inflating their numbers.
To separate the wheat from the chaff, the investigation can go so far as to call the legal advisers of companies to validate the assertions of the candidates.