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The British Are Coming -- to American Law Firms

By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 19, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

So the British are coming, but this time to American law firms.

The last time -- if you exclude the Beatles' invasion -- the English came to crush the colonies. We all know how that ended, but what about the latest rush of barristers and solicitors?

What are they doing, invading our law firms? Isn't it bad enough with the robots taking our jobs already?

Excess of Success?

Above the Law, the ever skeptical ezine, blames it on money. The Brits are trading their pounds for American dollars.

"Why are British partners fleeing the magic circle to join U.S. firms?" ATL asks. "It's the money, obviously."

It's a fair assessment, given that some lawyers are leaving their English ties for double and triple their salaries. But it also suggests American law firms are the cause of the invasion.

Gibson Dunn, for one, may have started it. The firm has been on a London hiring spree, competing with others for the top talent there.

The $10 Million Question

Not to be outdone, Kirkland & Ellis lured London lawyer David Higgins for a package worth $10 million a year. That's a lot of cash/pounds, no matter how you weigh it.

"The 48-year-old last year became the latest star lawyer to defect to a US firm from the traditional 'magic circle' -- the elite cadre of London firms, privately owned by partners, who work on the most prestigious corporate deals," the Luxemberg Times reported.

The newspaper said the local firms are fighting back, apparently with offers and incentives. But it comes down to one, big question:

How much is your firm willing to invest in a foreign market? And if that makes you worry about your job, take comfort for now knowing that at least you speak English.

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