In May 2022, Kirkland & Ellis, and Winston & Strawn announced they would open a new office in Miami, a sign the city’s appeal for large out-of-town law firms is on the rise. Kirkland said the firm would relocate four corporate partners for the Miami launch while Winston & Strawn recruited six partners from rival firms to set up its new office.
The two Chicago-founded firms are the latest to expand in South Florida. King & Spalding opened a Miami office earlier in 2022 by relocating a large group of lawyers, including 12 partners. Sidley Austin, which does not list a Miami office on its website, has also recently hired at least five partners there. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan launched in Miami in 2021.
Florida has attracted Wall Street executives and others in the finance industry from New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. Warm weather, lower taxes and affordable space have been incentives.
South Florida’s legal market has “long been driven” by Florida-based law firms, with national and international firms having mixed success moving in. However, Scott Hodes, from legal recruiting firm Lateral Link believes the moves could “change the landscape” for legal talent in Miami if out-of-town firms coming in “have some staying power.”