Empire Search Co-founder & Partner Scott Yaccarino provided Law.com with his comments on Big Law firms’ strategies to attract clients in the Miami legal market. Top legal recruiters say Big Law firms’ interest in the Miami legal market preceded the Covid-19 pandemic, but the billing rate differential and lack of partners with comparable books of business kept them out until recently. Despite the disparity in billing rates, Scott believes Big Law firms, such as Kirkland & Ellis or Sidley Austin, can win Miami business by pitching their added value.
“There is a bigger, broader role that firms like Kirkland also play in connecting clients and serving as an intermediary when it comes to aspects of the business that are not a function of billable work,” said Scott. “Kirkland is an example of a firm that can direct business to lenders.” Those connections may be the difference-maker for ambitious Miami clients who can afford the premiums of a larger, more specialized law firm. “If I’m a client and I say, ‘Hey, lawyer, can you get me a meeting with XYZ?’ Kirkland is going to be in a different room than a lot of firms.” For law firms at the top of the Am Law 100 rankings like Kirkland and Sidley, their perception of their value-add may dictate their next moves in Miami. If such law firms can up-sell Miami clients based on connections and non-billable services, these firms could end up reshaping the Miami legal market in their favor. “It’s about whether or not these firms are appreciating that Miami is a different market, and whether the firms are going to be flexible in that market,” Scott said. “Or, whether firms are expecting the market to bend in their direction.”
Check out the full article originally published on Law.com: As Big Law Rolls into Miami, Locals Ask: Who Will Pay Kirkland’s Rates?