Transactional hours drop after bumper year in the US
Nikolai Viedge - 07th November 2022
For junior associates across transactional practices in the US, 2021 will stick out as a profitable and exhausting one. It ranks as one of the busiest years in transactional practices as markets surged. To meet demand, the number of lateral hires climbed and salaries soared to retain and attract talent. Hours were long.
Data collected by the Chambers Associate team puts the market average across practice areas at around 11 per working day for 2021.The average number of daily hours in banking & finance, capital markets and corporate M&A, meanwhile, was closer to 12. It might not sound like a lot, but that adds up very quickly over the weeks and months. As a comparison point, people in commercial litigation were doing around 10 hours a day in 2021.
By the of October this year, as the market cooled, hours had decreased. Across the market the hours were below 10 a day. Juniors in banking & finance, capital markets and corporate M&A were doing even less. Overall, transactional juniors were enjoying an extra two hours a day on average, allowing them to breathe. However, a slower market carries its own risks. Lateral hires are likely to slow, and some firms may suddenly find themselves with too many junior associates. Time will tell.