Akin Gump acquires 7 Haynes and Boone partners

Move illustrates strength of legal services market

Seven Haynes and Boone lawyers in Texas are planning to jump ship and head over to Akin Gump—further evidence that the legal services climate is looking up.

Akin Gump announced yesterday that it would be adding the seven partners to its Dallas office, but the firm did not say when the transition would take place. The lawyers will be working in various practice areas, including litigation, corporate M&A and white collar criminal defense.

“This is an extraordinary group of lawyers entering the prime of their careers,” Akin Gump Chairman Bruce McLean said in a statement. “Their arrival will be a tremendous step forward for Akin Gump in Dallas and will greatly enhance our core strengths in corporate and litigation work. It is a rare opportunity to welcome a top-tier team with such a broad range of skills to our firm, and I’m thrilled that they will be joining us.”

Not surprisingly, Haynes and Boone is feeling the emotional effect of losing a chunk of its partners. “We can confirm that the attorneys you have identified plan to join Akin Gump. We are saddened to see these colleagues, many of whom started their careers here at Haynes and Boone, leave,” the firm told Above the Law yesterday. “We wish them well and much success in their new firm.”

Earlier this week, we reported that jobs in the legal sector are up, according to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report. That news was a welcome surprise in the legal community, after recent reports of a “grim” outlook for large law firms’ profits and managing partners losing confidence in the economy. Kent Zimmerman at legal consultant Zeughauser Group told Thomson Reuters that Akin Gump’s hiring of the seven partners is indicative the strength in the legal services market.  

Read more recent InsideCounsel stories about the legal services market:

Baker & McKenzie becomes first U.S. law firm to open Peru office

Jobs up in legal services sector

2nd Circuit considers Jacoby & Meyers’ challenge to NY ban on outside law firm investment

Law firm mergers rebound in third quarter, involve smaller firms

Median first-year associate salaries drop to $145,000

Study says Biglaw profits look “grim” for 2012

Law firm managing partners lose confidence in economy

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Cathleen Flahardy

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