There has been a sharp increase in hires by Philadelphia firms in New York City, indicating the vast opportunities for practice in the city. Between July 18 and Aug. 1, four firms based in Philadelphia announced hires in their New York offices. Ballard Spahr announced a New York hire July 18, when mergers and acquisitions partner David H. Landau joined the firm.

Ballard Spahr chairman Mark Stewart said his firm's hiring has been based on the existing relationships its lawyers have with other attorneys in New York. He said he would like for the office to be built around the litigation, business, and real estate practices.

Mr. Stewart said he would like to continue his firm's growth in New York, ideally by bringing in groups. "We're careful and we have opportunities with these individual people," he said. But "we would like to do more."