The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
First it was the launch in Palo Alto that got people wondering. FFW opened its representative office there last September, 12 years after its TMT rival did the same thing for the same reason.
Only a month earlier, FFW’s sector-group reshuffle streamlined its strategy from 11 industries to five, comprising energy and natural resources; financial institutions; hotel, retail and leisure; TMT; and life sciences and healthcare. The quintet it was left with so closely resembled OC’s quartet of digital business, financial services, real estate and infrastructure and energy and natural resources that decisions were already looking fishy.
Then, of course, it emerged FFW and OC were in merger talks, which ended partly over the difference between FFW’s single partnership structure and OC’s Swiss Verein under which the UK and Europe are separate profit pools.
FFW even briefly mulled a move to 10 Aldermanbury, round the corner from OC’s London base. In the end it plumped for Riverbank House near Berwin Leighton Paisner. But the OC-aping did not stop. This month it launched a tie-up with Shanghai’s Ryser & Associates using – you guessed it – a Swiss Verein, although FFW is still committed to its single European partnership.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it might also be the next best thing to a merger.