The ABA will be considering a change in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct when it meets in mid-February. The change would make it easier for partners to move laterally. In essence, the new rule allows firms to avoid conflicts of interest by screening a lateral partner from matters at the new firm.
This seems to be in keeping with the times though there is no guarantee that the measure will either pass or be adopted by every state. Regardless of the outcome, there will be a lot of partner movement in 2009. My colleague Dan Binstock has written a very good article outlining why this is the case. There is also an article in today’s Wall Street Journal about firms tapping partners for larger capital contributions (subscription req.) This seems likely to fuel further unrest. May we all live in interesting times!