The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
An exhaustive analysis of the UK market including every firm in the top 200 ranked, analysed and benchmarked, UK chambers ranked by turnover, revenue per barrister and which international firms are most active in the UK.
Suspicion of strains at Private Eye adviser Davenport Lyons, as tie-up dream fades
If Private Eye devoted an issue to one of its advisers, Davenport Lyons, the cover caption might pose the question: “Marry me?” to Shakespeare.
But there’s more to this than meets the, er, eye. This is not a caricature of the sonnet superstar, but rather merger-hungry Midlands firm, Shakespeares.
Until last week word had it that Shakespeares was roaming the streets of shame pining for a new Juliet, aka Davenport Lyons (that’s enough, ed).
While Shakespeares CEO Paul Wilson told The Lawyer merger talks had ground to a halt, Davenport insiders were unaware of the fact.
What’s going on? Wilson won’t elaborate and Davenport CEO Richard Williams has gone to ground. So let’s look at Davenport Lyons. The media boutique made a living out of defamation cases, many conducted on a conditional fee basis. That model was torn up by the Jackson reforms.
This, however, was not the trigger. Things started to tumble soon after the firm took out a loan to fund a hiring spree in 2008. Former Lawrence Graham finance director Williams was brought in 18 months ago to boost profits after PEP fell by 20 per cent in two years.
A source says equity partners were called in to an “urgent” meeting on 30 January, although it is not known whether this concerned the shape of the firm.
Nobody from Davenport Lyons had responded to requests for comment at the time of going to press.