Rising Lateral Conflict Risk Exposed in Sidley DQ Bid

Law360, New York (April 1, 2015, 9:27 PM EDT) -- A bid to toss Sidley Austin LLP from a big-ticket auditor negligence case over an alleged conflict arising from a lateral hire is the latest sign that lawyer mobility and firm mergers are raising conflict and disqualification risk for BigLaw, experts said.

While little data exists on the frequency of disqualification attempts — both because of legitimate concerns about mobile lawyers getting into adverse positions or as a litigation tactic — industry watchers say many major firms like Sidley are seeing more lateral-focused challenges even as BigLaw pours additional resources into conflict checks.

Eileen Garczynski, senior vice president at insurance advisory...

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