- On February 21, 2021
So far the 2021 economy is shaping up well. The global economy is predicted to grow 5.5% and the US 5.1%. The legal market is also looking good. Tech and life science companies (the backbone of the Bay Area economy) are doing well and driving up legal demand at firms and in-house here.
Case in point, bellwether tech firm Cooley’s profits increased 16.8% last year, with revenues totaling $1.55B. CEO Joe Conroy said, “We all feel super fortunate to be part of a business that shielded us at least from some of the financial hardships that fell on so many communities… There was a lot of talk about whether the part of the U.S. economy that we service would be in a recession. Whatever recession there is; it’s not affecting our clients… That was different in London,” for example, which experienced “depressed deal activity.”
Demand for legal services for tech companies is expected to grow. The Recorder reported firms saw significant work from Zoom and Facebook over litigation as the world moved remote and predicts continued demand for firms. “[R]egulatory hurdles for tech companies will only increase under a Biden administration, which has already promised to ramp up scrutiny over the use and sale of user data and, in the case of Facebook and Twitter, misinformation on their platforms.”
As firms gear up for more work, in-house execs are returning to top firms. For example, in recent months Facebook DGC Ashlie Beringer went to Gibson Dunn; Facebook AGC Tiana Demas to Cooley; Samsung Electronics America in-house leader Christopher Burrell to Faegre Drinker Biddle; and Amazon AGC Brian Buckley rejoined Fenwick.
Regardless of firm or in-house, Bay Area lawyers are busy and will stay busy. I’ve been recruiting Bay Area lawyers for the last 15 years and have never been busier.