Even though partner moves were down year-over-year, Decipher noted that law firms last year figured out one of the fastest ways to grow: buying partners with books of business.


While partner and associate lateral moves across Big Law were down last year, some law firms grew market share by adding key rainmakers from competitors—and these types of moves didn’t slow down.

According to data from Decipher, partner moves in general decreased by about 26% in 2023 from 2022. In particular, hires for “terrific junior partners who may not yet have their book of business built up” declined most in 2023, though there was an upswing toward the end of the year, said Gregg Hamman, chief data officer at Decipher Investigative Intelligence, which tracks and analyzes lateral moves in the legal industry.