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We already know Biglaw’s sideways market is on fire in 2021. And businesses * know *, which is why they throw money at people to keep them where they are. For lawyers in very hot / busy practice areas, some Biglaw firms – like Skadden – are upping the stakes with retention bonuses (not for everyone, beware, just for high value mergers lawyers. and acquisitions and capital markets).

So when a particular practice starts to really leap, it’s worth sitting down and taking note. And wow, is real estate a hotbed of sideways movement right now.

Take a look at some of the recent sideways moves in the real estate space, as reported by Law.com:

  • Withers won Loretta Thompson, former partner of Greenspoon Marder in Los Angeles;
  • Loeb & Loeb got former Jones Day partner Peter Bergan in Chicago;
  • Nixon Peabody has picked up former Holland & Knight partner Laura Sugarman in New York;
  • Riemer & Braunstein won former Jones Day real estate partner Mark Appelbaum to open an office in Newport Beach, California;
  • Peckar & Abramson asked Amy Hackett and Richard Briansky, former lawyers of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, to open an office in Boston;
  • Virginia-based boutique Pender & Coward hired Parks Zeigler alumnus Richard Biemiller;
  • Spencer Fane opens Fort Lauderdale, Florida office run by partner Shawn Whitney;
  • Seyfarth Shaw hired partner Iryna Ivashchuk, formerly of Berger Singerman, in Atlanta;
  • Forman hired Jason Gabriel, former town of Jacksonville, Fla., General counsel; and
  • Georgia-based Bouhan Falligant hired Julia Weaver.

Bergan noted his recent move to Loeb & Loeb, in real estate, the ‘big’ Biglaw isn’t always the most important thing:

“I wanted to go into a business where real estate is both national and growing,” Bergan said. “When I started studying law firms, I was surprised to see that Loeb & Loeb had done things to develop their practice in Los Angeles and New York, to transform regional practices into more national ones. “

Robert Stern of Trenam said there were a lot of people there: “Our real estate and loan attorneys are overworked and to the limit. Everything is on the bridge. And Spencer Fane business partner Shawn Whitney said 2021 looks like a banner year: “Last year was a banner year in terms of deals, and this year I’m on the verge of surpassing that. “

No wonder the practice area is booming right now.


Kathryn Rubino is Editor-in-Chief at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please tune in with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions or comments and follow her on Twitter (@ Kathryn1).