Lateral Due Diligence
For every successful lateral hire there are three more mediocre hires. A few clients come with the partner, too many do not. Some don't bring any clients at all.
And yet, the market for laterals with loyal clients is, well, frothy right now. And very expensive. Firms must move quickly or lose out. Not only must they make quick decisions but they'll have to spend half a million dollars, and often much more, to get promising talent. What is worst of all, there's no guarantee of success.
Would you buy a business without looking at the books? A stock without reading an independent analyst's report? Still, U.S. law firms routinely hire lateral partners without the benefit of objective, independent analysis of the attorney's client relationships and business development capabilities. But seventy percent of law firms in the U.K. conduct due diligence on laterals using independent providers. And it is also the standard practice in the prvate equity industry here in the U.S. where the risk of making a poor hire is equally high.
Introducing independent lateral due diligence for law firms.
Our services include:
Candidate interviews: We conduct interviews with lateral candidates to assess their business development and 'rainmaking' capabilities and the dynamics of their client relationships. We develop a customized Lateral Candidate Scorecard for each hiring law firm to ensure the scope of the interviews accommodate the unique aspects of the firm's culture and operating methods as well as industry best practices in due diligence. We also investigate a candidate's managerial style and experience and other factors where candidates may be considered for firm leadership positions.
We ask the tough, probing questions that reveals information rarely brought out in partner to partner interviews. And by using trained outside professionals, partners and staff can focus on building a productive new relationship with the incoming attorney while benefiting from the arms length objectivity of an independent analysis. A written report is produced for use in hiring, compensation and partnership voting processes and typically delivered within one to two weeks of the date of interview.
Background due diligence: It is just as important to achieve the right subjective match in personality profiles and internal relationships as it is to understand the external client relationships. As such, GDC explores the more subjective criteria such as management styles and personal characteristics by interviewing the candidate's professional references.
Lateral integration planning: The intelligence gathered through candidate interviews and professional references can substantially inform the lateral integration and cross practice servicing strategies. GDC produces a fully customized integration and client development plan which can be used to guide the effort to integrate and cross market the candidate's practice once on board.
Lateral integration coaching: An integration coach can be useful, not only to assure that the business plan is implemented but gives the lateral a confidential sounding board, advisor and coach to help them through the transition, the client portage strategies and in honing their business development skills.
Lateral Growth Services
GDC provides lateral growth support services to help firms compete more effectively in the lateral partner recruiting market. We are not recruiters. We help hiring firms assess the client books of lateral candidates and provide estimates of the clients and work that will likely come with that lawyer to the firm. Our reports are used to inform the hiring decisions, compensation discussions and to support partnership voting processes as well as in integration planning and execution.
We also create lateral integration plans, identify cross servicing oppotunities and coach lateral candidates throughout their transition to the new firm. In addition, we help firms assess their lateral recruiting efforts and provide advice and support to improve the overall effectiveness of attorney growth strategies within the firm.