Professor Hillman Comments for Daily Journal on Lawyer Mobility Issues
Professor Robert Hillman commented for the Daily Journal on the issues raised among law firm clients by the increasing numbers of partners making lateral moves between firms. In the past, the most common practice was for clients to follow the attorney who had handled their affairs, but that is changing with the changing legal market, the article notes.
"When I was general counsel for Starkist Co. in the 1970s, hiring lawyers and the law firm were one in the same -- the firm was the lawyer," said Hillman. "The idea of dealing with this situation would be something I never dreamed of."
Professor Hillman also notes in the article that while a firm's partners have a fiduciary duty to not compete with that firm, lawyers often exploit a legal gray area by informing clients of an impending move without explicitly soliciting their continued business.
Robert Hillman is a Professor of Law and holds the Fair Business Practices and Investor Advocacy Chair at UC Davis School of Law. He is a scholar in the fields of international transactions, securities regulation, and corporate and partnership law.