A sense of belonging

For one day only, Dewey Ballantine’s lawyers belong to LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae. Well, to its website anyway. Jumping the gun slightly, LeBoeuf has listed all of Dewey’s lawyers on its website.

28-Sept: 2007

A sense of belonging

For one day only, Dewey Ballantine’s lawyers belong to LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae. Well, to its website anyway.

Jumping the gun slightly, LeBoeuf has listed all of Dewey’s lawyers on its website (see story) even though the tie-up between the two firms – the result of which will be known as Dewey & LeBoeuf – does not go live until Monday (1 October), together with a new website.

The legacy Dewey lawyers are easily spotted by their “@dl.com” e-mails with the addresses of the Dewey offices in brackets – even if there is no actual mention of them being Dewey lawyers, which they are officially for at least another 58 hours.

Dewey, meanwhile, has not reciprocated.

Sure this is not a takeover?

27-Sept: 2007

Mayer Brown: the future shoo-in for suing?

To be sued for negligence once is unfortunate. To be sued twice looks like carelessness. Allegedly.

Last month it was Charles Russell getting some unwelcome attention from disgruntled former clients. And now it’s Eversheds‘ turn, with not one but two claims in the space of a week – Claim 1, Claim2.

Eversheds is tight-lipped on the matter, apart from to say that the firm is defending itself vigorously. It won’t say which professional negligence lawyers it’s hired, but we reckon Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) is well in the frame.

This time next year, however, you might see Mayer Brown try to challenge BLG for supremacy as every law firm’s favourite firefighter. As we reported yesterday (26 September), Clare Canning – she of Ernst & Young and Equitable fame – has moved to Mayer Brown (see story).

Whether BLG was ‘careless’ in losing Canning is a moot point.

26-Sept 2007

Lord Goldsmith – for a few dollars more

So, Lord Goldsmith. What first attracted you to the £1m-a-year equity partnership at Debevoise & Plimpton?

You read that correctly. Our former attorney-general is joining the London office of New York’s Debevoise first thing tomorrow (27 September) as European chair of litigation (see story).

It seems that Goldsmith was attracted by Debevoise’s values and commitment to pro bono and public service.

Up until now Debevoise has been best known in the UK market for its flirtation with Freshfields back in 2000. So on the face of it, the Goldsmith hire is quite a coup for the US firm, which has not managed to replicate its stellar contentious practice in Europe.

Meanwhile, there’s consternation at the bar. You could almost hear the jaws drop at Fountain Court. “We’re very, very disappointed,” said a source not unadjacent to Goldsmith’s former chambers.

Sources at Westminster, however, are less shocked at Goldsmith opting for the dollar over the pound. “It doesn’t surprise me at all,” says one.

In the meantime, here are some more questions to which we’d love to know the answer:

• How much business development will Goldsmith be expected to undertake?

• When will he be allowed to take full equity, given that he has to leave the bar to do so?

• And will Goldsmith be instructing anyone from Fountain Court?

Answers on a postcard.

25-Sept 2007

Bradford better than Bank

The biggest news of the day, on any normal day, would be the Indian government giving the green light to London’s colonialist law firms to launch on the subcontinent. But this is no ordinary day.

Because today it was revealed that Bradford and Leicester are better suited to law firms than London. And so is Glasgow. See story.

Despite the City’s influence and standing as a global financial centre, UK law firms should turn to the regional hub of Nottingham to base their UK operations, reveals a survey of managing partners by travel company Portman Travel.

The Lawyer is hoping to commission Portman to conduct the survey on a global scale. While anecdotal evidence (ie law firms launching or planning to launch in these locations) would seem to suggest Beijing, Dubai, Kiev or Delhi as the latest hotspot, perhaps we are wrong. Anyone for Calcutta, Borneo or Ulan Bator?

We’re at a loss to understand why Linklaters finance head John Tucker, who’s just relocated to New York, hasn’t upped sticks for Nottingham. Or Bradford.

24-Sept 2007

New York, new talk

Bankruptcy is the new black, according to the Americans. So reveals our associate editor Matt Byrne in his New York blog ‘www.thelawyer.com, which has just been relaunched.

There’s already a debate developing on what the credit crunch means to lawyers. Add your own thoughts through the new Backchat function.

As we reported today, most firms had such strong first quarters that the slow second quarter has not meant disaster – yet. So while New Yorkers are being cautious, Londoners are slightly more bullish.

One online contributor observes that lawyers just have to get more proactive. Amen to that.