I have been editor of The Lawyer since 2000 and in that time have launched numerous products, such as our student title Lawyer 2B, the Hot 100, the Workplace and Diversity Awards (now The Lawyer Management Awards) and the UK200, our annual investigation into law firm finances, as well as leading the transition from a pure print title to a digitally focused product. My interests within the legal sector span from global law firm strategy to diversity and social mobility, and I also have long experience writing about corporate and finance transactions and issues facing in-house lawyers. I speak French and Welsh and I tweet as @thelawyercatrin.
Floating your boat subscription
Everyone thought Irwin Mitchell would be doing it soon, but it looks as if Gateley will beat the national firm to the punch. Gateley is actively preparing an IPO. It’s notable not least because Gateley – unlike Irwin Mitchell and Slater & Gordon, the Aussie-listed company that took over RJW three years ago – is not a personal injury outfit. Will Gateley genuinely be the pathfinder for commercial law firms?
Firms call competition into play subscription
Competition partner Paula Riedel’s departure from Linklaters to Kirkland & Ellis last week generated considerable reader interest.
Donny Ching’s first year as Shell’s global legal chief and why private practice must watch out subscription
Being a Shell lifer doesn’t mean Donny Shell is happy for things to be business-as-usual, and a panel review is on the cards.
KWM’s resurgence will be built on real estate subscription
Eye-catching defections tend to be from corporate or finance departments, so it was a nice change for us to report last week a notable news story in real estate, a practice area that – outside magic circle firms’ covert downsizing – rarely sees dramatic team moves.
Royal Dutch Shell global legal director Donny Ching has put fee arrangements at the forefront of his next panel review, scheduled for April 2016.
Hot 100: management roundtable – Who dares, wins subscription
The legal market is having to adjust to a rapid pace of change, but there’s all to play for if you’re willing to break the mould. A selection of this year’s Hot 100 tell us their game plan.
Invest in operations professionals subscription
Prophets of change in the legal industry seem doomed to disappointment. Over the past two decades law firms have not torn up their structures; rather, change has been cultural
Royal Mail: How to deliver change subscription
A £3bn privatisation, a £12bn pensions hole, a hostile trade union and a panel shake-up– the past few years have been full of ups and downs for Royal Mail GC Neil Harnby and his team.
Winning the Gen Y recruiting game subscription
Talk to anyone over 35 about Generation Y and the complaints are predictable. They’re not interested in grunt work; they want the top job from the moment they join; they can’t live without their phones; they have a short attention span.
In-housers to the fore in our Hot 100 subscription
Welcome to one of our most-awaited issues of the year, in which we unveil our Hot 100 lawyers for 2015.
Why the Cooley effect is one to watch subscription
It took a while, but it was worth it. Cooley’s launch in London had been awaited for over a year, but it didn’t diminish the impact. Indeed, The Lawyer’s revelation ten days ago that the firm was opening in the UK with 19 partners dominated our most-read stories list.
This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, putting the rule of law in the spotlight.
Kirkland & Ellis debt finance partner Stephen Gillespie is leaving the firm to join Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, to become the Californian firm’s fifth high-profile recruit this year.
The leadership interview 2014: the dealmakers subscription
For a year now, The Lawyer has run a weekly interview with a law firm leader as part of our coverage of strategic issues facing the legal profession. Over the next two weeks we’ll be running the highlights from our interviews with the men and women who are shaping private practice.
Feeling the long arm of the regulators subscription
We finish 2014 with our analysis of the global litigation and investigations market – the Global Litigation Top 50.
The bar is being raised in-house. Good. subscription
A lot of things unite in-house lawyers. Overwork is one; lack of resources is another.
Negotiating the middle ground subscription
It wasn’t easy. When The Lawyer set out to research the top independent law firms operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) we were confronted with a whole series of problems.
SJ Berwin: a promising afterlife? subscription
For both SJ Berwin and Ashurst the lure of an Asia deal was irresistible.
Charlie Geffen has re-emerged as the architect for Gibson Dunn’s English law capability – an ideal role for the committed internationalist. But why Gibson, and how does he really feel about Ashurst’s thwarted US plans?
The choices facing Ashurst and Olswang subscription
The Americanisation of UK law is coming - so what are firms doing about it?
Leader: UK 200 redraws the legal map subscription
It’s here: The Lawyer’s UK 200 is the biggest financial data exercise in the legal profession
Women, do it for yourselves subscription
Edwards Wildman associate Sascha Grimm and Shearman & Sterling associate Suzanne Szczetnikowicz like to recount a story about female behaviour in the workplace.
In-house profile: QBE general counsel Esther Felton subscription
Esther Felton’s vision as GC for insurer QBE was to create a legal function that works shoulder to shoulder with the business. Now a reality, her team’s remit is extending and fast acquiring specialist expertise
The US firms right at home in the City subscription
Gibson Dunn’s hire of former Ashurst senior partner Charlie Geffen is one of the biggest corporate stories of the season.
Former Ashurst boss Geffen quits for Gibson Dunn subscription
Former Ashurst senior partner Charlie Geffen has resigned from the firm to join Los Angeles-headquartered Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Freshfields scores a US touchdown subscription
The self-belief of Freshfields managing partner and corporate head is remarkable.
A game of thrones subscription
It’s not all glamour, leading a law firm. Our weekly leadership interview with senior figures in private practice delves into the minutiae of management decisions and is a window on to the personalities that run some of the biggest law firms in the market.
Greenberg Traurig’s London office, Greenberg Traurig Maher (GTM), has hired Slaughter and May tax partner Graham Iversen in a high-profile lateral move in a bid to enhance its tax capability.
Roots of recovery are not so robust subscription
Let us praise legal services.
Outflanked in this War of the Roses subscription
A few weeks ago I asked why Leeds seemed to have fallen off the pace compared to other regional cities’ legal offerings.
Asia responds to a lighter touch subscription
This week we publish the second edition of The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, the most comprehensive study of the legal market in the region
It’s a critical balance in the push for innovation and durability. In the run-up to our Awards, Law Firm of the Year contenders tell us their secrets of success
Change: the great balancing act subscription
Any discussion of innovation in private practice must confront two challenges: nurturing culture and managing risk.
The Lawyer editor Catrin Griffiths speaks to leading figures from Clyde & Co, DWF, Macfarlanes, Mishcon, Pinsent Masons and Slater & Gordon about the growing appetite from in-house lawyers for collaborative working
Out-of-London is the new London subscription
More and more City firms are disaggregating in the quest for efficiency.
Dentons, The American Lawyer row, and why PEP is not "meaningless" downloadsubscription
Profitability is still a valid metric when examining law firm performance.
Beware the acquisitive accountant subscription
The accountants are making some lawyers jittery. Some, but not all.
We need to talk about mental health subscription
In October 2012 Deloitte decided to tackle the issue of workplace mental health seriously
Client partners are a special breed subscription
Our focus this week is on a relationship: we profile the general counsel of Universal Music Richard Constant with his favoured external lawyer, Stephen Kon of KWMSJB, a year after the titanic merger with EMI was given the nod
QBE splits advisers into two in new-look roster subscription
Insurance giant QBE has revamped its roster of external advisers for its European operations and created two distinct panels for the first time.
Weil Gotshal & Manges banking chief Stephen Lucas is leaving the firm after three years for Kirkland & Ellis.
The power of working in concert subscription
There’s growth, but it ain’t organic subscription
The financial year has ended, the bills are in, and results time is upon us.
We’ve seen the measure of excellence subscription
The 20th anniversary shortlist of The Lawyer Awards is brimming with excellence.
Former Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) head of finance Matthew Kellett is leaving the firm to join accountancy and consulting giant EY as it ramps up its investment in the legal sector.
Hiring is the key to capital gains subscription
Our survey of top international firms is, for the first time, truly international.
HFW becomes first UK firm to relocate leader to Asia as senior partner moves to Singapore subscription
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) senior partner Richard Crump has relocated permanently to Singapore in a move that underlines the firm’s ambitious plans to grow its Asia practice.
Weil Gotshal & Manges has lured Goldman Sachs star Andrew Wilkinson back into legal practice to boost its pan-European restructuring business.
Borrowing your way to growth subscription
Today’s issue of The Lawyer is a first: we survey 153 LLP accounts taken from the list of firms in The Lawyer’s UK 200 to investigate debt levels within the UK’s leading legal practices.
After 30 years in the City, you might think that a corporate partner would want to put his or her feet up. This is not the case at Freshfields.
Limber up for the Africa play-offs subscription
When The Lawyer was researching The Africa Elite, one of the questions we asked the continent’s top independent practices was which international firms they worked with or they would like to work with
Beware a council lawyer scorned subscription
Where do you think your local government clients are heading? It’s not a rhetorical question
Atlanta and Washington DC-based US firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is entering the UK market through a merger with London commodities boutique Arbis.
Losing the magic touch in finance subscription
Have the magic circle firms squandered their lead in acquisition finance?
Chance of a sturdier Saudi solution subscription
Last week Paris firm August & Debouzy quit its six-year alliance with Nabarro, which leaves the London firm rather stranded in France.
Accountants aren’t kidding with ABS this time subscription
Last month PwC Legal got an ABS licence, which will allow it to own its legal arm at last.
Stress: the elephant in the room subscription
Last week we reported that Hogan Lovells was setting up an on-site confidential counselling service for its staff as part of its health and wellbeing policy
New leaders, new styles subscription
After a decade of phenomenal growth, Chinese law firms are now having to confront the issue of succession.
DLA Piper is set for a leadership shake-up as co-CEO Nigel Knowles is to replace Tony Angel as global co-chairman and London IP partner Simon Levine is appointed as the firm’s next joint CEO.
Price war is hell subscription
BLP’s Eisenberg blames PEP slump on not-so-magical undercutting
For Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) managing partner Neville Eisenberg one of the most frustrating things is not the extraordinary 40 per cent slump in PEP in 2012/13 or the 20-odd partner departures over 18 months, but undercutting by major City firms on pitches.
Truth behind good retention rates subscription
Great news for junior lawyers: trainee retention rates are on the up.
A farewell to UK finance work subscription
For some reason the politics of King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin’s corporate department attracts extraordinary attention online from our readers.
Exclusive: Shell legal boss Rees in shock departure subscription
Shell legal director Peter Rees QC has left the oil giant, just three years after joining the company.
The year the future arrived subscription
In September this year The Lawyer devoted an entire issue to futurology. What would the legal profession look like in 2020? We made specific predictions around UK market consolidation and law firm collapses, a radical change in resourcing structures and growing demands from in-house lawyers.
Hogan Lovells leadership team to step down in June subscription
Hogan Lovells is gearing up for a change of leadership as co-CEOs Warren Gorrell and David Harris prepare to step down next June and the firm abolishes its dual-headed management structure.
Litigators, transparency and success subscription
The Lawyer’s annual report into the top 50 firms for global litigation is eagerly awaited by those with ambitions to grow their contentious business.
An open goal for regional players subscription
You’re an in-house lawyer outside London. Your usual external law firm is spending less time on you but wants to bill you more.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Chris Bown is leaving the magic circle firm to join private equity house CVC, a key client of the firm’s corporate group.
Management: the Nurofen Top 5 subscription
While law firm financials may be on a sounder footing, management problems abound.
Mergers: the ultimate test of loyalty subscription
Dangerous things, mergers. I’m not talking about Penningtons’ takeover of zombie firm Manches, although that deal is tricky enough in itself – as we expose in considerable detail this week.
Berwin Leighton Paisner head of banking and finance Matthew Kellett has resigned in the latest departure to hit the mid-market firm.
Cyber security: it’s big and it’s scary subscription
This week’s issue is devoted to cyber security, a topic simultaneously fascinating and terrifying.
Linklaters has moved quickly to replace private equity partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw by relocating Stockholm-based corporate partner Roger Johnson to London and appointing corporate partner Nick Rees as head of the group.
UK 200: Litigation boosts PEP subscription
Litigation-heavy firms continue to be the high rollers in the ever-popular profit per equity partner stakes
UK 200: RPL subscription
Our revenue per lawyer figures show that there’s high-value work in niche firms, but are this metric’s days numbered?
Cool Gide turns up the heat subscription
Grand old Paris firm takes radical action to reboot dwindling partner line-up
The Lawyer UK 200 goes interactive subscription
The Lawyer published a bumper edition including an executive summary of The Lawyer UK 200 Annual Report 2013 in association with KPMG, in which we reveal the financial rankings for the top 200 law firms in the UK, the top 30 international firms and the top 30 barristers’ chambers. To purchase access to the full report visit www.thelawyer.com/uk200 or contact Daniela Badcock on +44 (0) 207 970 4582
Freshfields corporate partner and former London head Tim Jones is leaving the firm to join England Rugby 2015 as general counsel.
Linklaters private equity partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw have resigned from Linklaters to join the London office of White & Case.
Degree of hypocrisy in fake CV outcry subscription
One of the big human interest stories last week was the news that Paul Hastings financial litigation partner Thomas O’Riordan had lied on his CV and had been suspended from practice by the Bar Standards Board. O’Riordan even got the front-page splash in the London Evening Standard, something the ...
How to get the big PE bucks subscription
Do a Ted Burke and go in-house at a private equity house, but pin down those perks
Learning to live with procurement subscription
Let’s be realistic: those procurement people aren’t going away, and we need to learn to live with them. The discipline of procurement has engendered remarkable hostility among many lawyers; its first wave was all about process rather than strategic relationships. But peace is breaking out.
Leadership, organisation and funding in a fast-changing market were the themes of our recent law firm management event
Slow boat to Chinese profitability subscription
At The Lawyer Management Conference last week I chaired an absorbing session on pricing. In the past few years the debate has, thankfully, moved away from whether the hourly rate is dead towards are more nuanced exploration of the issue.
Thoroughly modern in-housers subscription
What do Aviva GC Monica Risam and Standard Life GC Malcolm Wood have in common?
Hogan Lovells has pledged to examine its policies and procedures around workplace stress and mental health in the wake of the death of IP partner David Latham earlier this year.
Pain of the panel review is just the start subscription
Panel reviews elicit many opinions, but remain the most popular way of choosing counsel.
The future is client-shaped subscription
This much we all know: since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008 the clients have called the shots on pricing and service delivery.
Berwin Leighton Paisner is restructuring its Managed Legal Services (MLS) division after it emerged that Patrick Somers, who led the initiative, has left the firm along with fellow high-profile lateral Andrew Bamber, an acquisition finance specialist.
Lawyers take the fees fight to bankers subscription
Myth of the client calculated decision subscription
Writing about brands is like wrestling an oiled octopus; it seems to require a grounding simultaneously in psychology, economics, art and textual analysis.
Who needs democracy in law firms? subscription
An interesting paper put out recently by Laura Empson, professor at Cass Business School is doing the rounds. It focuses on the ambiguities of law firm leadership.
Salute the hard-working mid-tier subscription
Oh, what a night. The Lawyer Awards, in association with Travelers, took place last week, with 1,400 of the great, good and groovy members of the legal profession packed into the Great Room at the Grosvenor. The spread of winners was remarkable, particularly in the in-house categories. Check out page 10 for the full listing; on the private practice side Nabarro,
Witness the rise of the geek empire subscription
One of our most-read stories on last week on TheLawyer.com was a defiantly geeky report on Addleshaw Goddard mapping 46 primary legal processes.
Asia’s gems revealed in all their glory subscription
Today we’re launching our newest and arguably most ambitious research project. Just as The Lawyer UK 200 has become the leading benchmark for private practice firms operating in the UK market,
Chris Howard has left Linklaters again subscription
Will it be third time lucky at Sullivans?
Will China light SJB's way to the US? subscription
A merger between SJ Berwin and King & Wood Mallesons could create a serious global player - or major integration problems.
Cash alone does not tempt associates subscription
Last year we launched our inaugural City associate attitudes survey. The findings surprised anyone who assumed that junior and mid-level lawyers were obsessed with money; the firms they consistently ranked top were not the stony Wall Street practices but genial internationalists like Baker & McKenzie.
A shortlist of the highest calibre ever subscription
Tough questions to face on trainees subscription
All is volatile among US firms in London subscription
If you were to guess which might be the best-performing US firm in 2020, it could be one that hasn’t even opened yet. Two new US firms in our annual survey - Quinn Emanuel and Ropes & Gray - have been in London for less than five years, but Quinn already tops the London revenue per lawyer (RPL) table with $1.88m, and jointly tops the London revenue per partner (RPP) table with $5.7m along with Davis Polk. Ropes & Gray is the smallest international firm in the top 30, but it ...
BLP management rejig sparks client base shift subscription
BLP shake-up sees firm facing up to a world of changed priorities
Leader: HSF disputes stars crave recognition subscription
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) real estate chief Robert MacGregor is stepping down from the role next month and will hand over to Chris de Pury.
Are Scottish independents doomed? subscription
Why DWF is nothing like DLA subscription
From New York Mayor to over here subscription
All change in transatlantic referrals subscription
It’s taken a Scot to kick Davis Polk & Wardwell into shape. Tom Reid’s tenure as managing partner is already taking the white-shoe firm into different territory.
Hot 100: bringing hidden stars to light subscription
Welcome to The Hot 100 2013: as you’ll see, this year we’ve devoted a lot of space to our highly anticipated feature.
The rising status of the suit set subscription
Eversheds is an interesting animal. Less evidently political than DLA Piper and rather less prone to dramatic convulsions, it’s always been short on pizzazz and long on execution.
Why bumper fees are still rare beasts subscription
I suspect Colin MacNeill will be a much-envied man this week. In this issue, we reveal that the Edinburgh-based Dickson Minto partner charged a £1m uplift from £750,000 to £1.7m (dependent on completion) acting for AG Barr on its merger with Britvic.
Another year of major litigation subscription
Welcome to our first print edition of The Lawyer for 2013: and as always, we kick off the year with our pick of the top cases.
Did the ground shift for you too? subscription
What a year. 2012 was the moment when so many predictions started to be realised. Just consider the following:
US litigators need London weight subscription
It’s here: this week we’re publishing a preview of our exclusive annual report on global litigation, where we reveal the top 50 firms in the world by revenue.
Partners do protest too little subscription
Lawyers have become a docile lot. The corporatisation of law firms and the increasingly regimented nature of partnership has produced ranks of professionals who tend to do what they’re told.
Who will rid us of the zombie firms? subscription
Since the summer of 2011 there have been 19 mergers involving major UK firms. Not all have been visionary: our lengthy study of the most recent deals examined some of the more questionable dynamics (The Lawyer, 29 October).
Why can't firms just talk straight? subscription
Imagine no head office: it’s easy if you try. No boss in London, management on the fly. Imagine all the lawyers living life in peace… Such is the utopian refrain suggested by the declaration last week by SNR Denton, Salans and Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) that the merged firm would be “truly polycentric” with no single HQ and simply bursting with diversity.
Firms can ride the LPO wave subscription
A few weeks ago I was chairing a round table discussion of in-house lawyers at Taylor Wessing on the topic of outsourcing. It was, if I’m honest, one of those enjoyable evenings during which many of your assumptions are pleasantly overturned. However, it did rather confirm my suspicion that in-house lawyers and private practice are two cultures divided by a common language.
LPOver and out? subscription
The trend for unbundling legal work is advancing through the law firm ranks but there is still resistance in some quarters - namely in-house. We asked why
Hiding the truth is not media’s job subscription
To listen to former Schillings partner Gideon Benaim, you might be forgiven for thinking that every member of the media is enrolled among the forces of Lucifer.
200 nuggets of gold subscription
Magic circle’s lost property mojo subscription
What do you do with a practice area whose margins do not match the rest of the firm’s? As James Swift explores in this issue, nowhere is this problem more acute than at Linklaters’ real estate department – although given the current size of that team, perhaps we should call it the real estate unit.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has closed the biggest ever internationally-led project finance deal in Israel, advising Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Dor Gas Explorations as sponsors on the US$900m (£562m) financing of the development of the Tamar gas field, first discovered 50 miles off the coast of Israel in January 2009.
Time to trim due diligence subscription
Blame Kraft-Cadbury again. Since that politically controversial deal the Takeover Code has required that bids for UK-listed companies have to include estimates of legal fees on both the buy and sell sides.
Weighting list subscription
As team GB law firms bulk up for the global challenge, mergers have transformed this year’s rankings – with some surprising results
The new Establishment subscription
In an Olympics season where the world has become obsessed with competitive rankings, it’s fitting that this week we’re running a sneak preview of The Lawyer UK200 Annual Report. I
Category imperative subscription
Brand positioning is relative, and it’s complex. Take The Lawyer UK 200 Annual Report - the most extensive and detailed study of law firm finances available. When we pore over the financials and interview managing partners and finance directors, the variety of law firm structures proliferates year-on-year. That makes categorisation increasingly vexed.
Mishcon control subscription
If you’d asked your average lawyer in your average ?firm about Mishcon de Reya 10 years ago the response would have been based on two impressions.
Merger mysteries subscription
Here are two firms solving their problems by mergers. Herbert Smith’s full financial integration with Freehills will bring about the sort of culture change advocated by Allen Hanen in Project Blue Sky (The Lawyer, 5 January); and King & Wood Mallesons, which won International Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards last week, primarily for its extraordinarily imaginative vision.
CMS group to pursue US merger as priority subscription
CMS Cameron McKenna and its affiliate firms have agreed to focus on delivering a transatlantic merger over the next year as the European network moves closer to integration
Finance hotshots subscription
The entrants for The Lawyer Award’s Banking and Finance Team of the Year stand out for their creativity during the crunch
Wind and Smoke subscription
When it comes to law firm dating, a GSOH is most definitely required.
More than 65 per cent of private practice solicitors would consider moving into an in-house role, a survey by The Lawyer reveals today.
Thomas Eggar partners have elected litigation head Victoria Brackett as the firm’s first-ever female managing partner while also revamping its overall management function.
Honorary QCs: clarity before parity subscription
Every year in Westminster Hall a small group of honorary QCs line up to get an award alongside the real ones.
Tony Angel puts matter at top of agenda for firm’s Tuesday board meeting after partners express outrage
Dozen silks sign up for launch of ABS LawVest subscription
LawVest has signed up 12 silks for its legal services offering Riverview Law, which launches today.
Brand new bromantics subscription
Two big beasts, a whole bunch of questions. When The Lawyer broke the story of Tony Angel joining DLA Piper last year, one question everyone asked was how he would get on with Nigel Knowles.
It’s the brand, stupid subscription
Nigel Knowles took DLA Piper from a Northern upstart to a global player. Can Tony Angel push the firm to the next level?
Outgrowing your friends subscription
I yield to no one in my delight that Nabarro has secured another alliance member, in the shape of Spanish firm Roca Junyent.
Herbies: solo empowered? subscription
Let’s play Pollyanna for a moment. Could it be that the collapse of the alliance with Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe is a blessing in disguise for Herbert Smith?
Former Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel is set to join DLA Piper as senior partner in one of the most sensational lateral hires in the legal market.
Law and the order of things subscription
You wait months for a good judicial speech, then four come along at once.
White & Case: no loitering subscription
Funny how multijurisdictional firms are viewed in binary. First, there’s the global elite made up of the super-profitable group of New York and London transactional firms.
Smells like team spirit subscription
Part of the fascination of reading all the tributes to Steve Jobs last week was wondering how much of his leadership style could be translated into a context outside the consumer and creative industries.
First profession-wide work experience scheme unveiled as 23 top firms sign up
Slaughters puts emphasis on China after chief’s exit subscription
Slaughter and May has rejigged its Greater China practice as veteran finance partner George Goulding retires.
The dispute between Greenberg Traurig Maher (GTM) and former equity capital markets partner Andrew Croxford has settled just two weeks before it was due to be heard at the London Central Employment Tribunal.
Largest membership since 2008 as Ashurst reappears and Clydes joins
A raft of law firms are lining up for the restructuring of Irish telecoms group Eircom, one of the biggest this year.
DAC Beachcroft to go live in November subscription
The partners at Beachcroft and Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) have voted in favour of the proposed merger between the two firms.
Nabarro managing partner Nicky Paradise is to retire from her role this summer, prompting a shake-up of the firm’s management.
Senior, junior or in the middle: the battle goes on subscription
IMO, European Directories and WorldPay have done little to sort out intercreditor disagreements.
Broken news subscription
I’ve always thought the fact that neither Keith Schilling nor David Price has voicemail was a slightly overzealous response to the antics of the tabloids. But as has become clear in the past week, it is entirely proportionate.
Dawkins swoop highlights Bingham’s new direction subscription
US firm aims to complement its financial restructuring strength with a serious litigation player in the City.
WFW partner is a true Renaissance woman subscription
When Watson Farley & Williams partner Celia Gardiner first started singing at church, she did not expect to found a chamber choir. In fact, when she started out she was the only amateur singer in a group of professional musicians.
DAC and Beachcroft moot £175m merger subscription
Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) and Beachcroft are in merger talks to create a £175m insurance giant, The Lawyer can reveal.
CC threatens to sue departing funds team subscription
Clifford Chance has upped the stakes in the highly charged situation surrounding the quadruple exit of its funds team by threatening to take action against some of the group for breach of fiduciary duty.
Ex-partner v GTM: enter the counsel subscription
The dispute between Greenberg Traurig Maher (GTM) and former partner Andrew Croxford has moved up a gear, with both sides instructing counsel.
Troubles with the ex subscription
The more corporate the law becomes, the more emotional the fallout: discuss. Our three main stories this week all involve contentious partnership issues, in different forms.
Global food conglomerate Heinz is kicking off an extensive review of external advisers with a view to setting up a European panel in the autumn.
Rules and exceptions subscription
The financial reporting season usually reveals a few surprises, but new levels of boggling were reached a fortnight ago when Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) announced its results.
The restating of sector guidelines on retail structured products is politically well-timed, says Catrin Griffiths
Called to account subscription
As Hogan Lovells partners and employees passed through the stages of denial, anger, depression and finally acceptance last week, the rest of the world was digesting the extraordinary news that litigation partner Christopher Grierson had been dismissed for claiming more than £1m in false expenses.
Family value: how private client filled the corp gap subscription
Family constitutions, governance, succession planning and plain old hard work are in the spotlight, writes Catrin Griffiths from Monaco
Farrers’ turnover sees 10 per cent increase subscription
Lincoln’s Inn firm Farrer & Co has posted a revenue of £46.7m for the last financial year, an increase of 9.6 per cent from £42.6m in 2010.
Hogan Lovells senior litigator Christopher Grierson has been dismissed from the partnership after claiming over £1m in false expenses over the course of four years.
Hogan Lovells’ equality act subscription
David Harris had his quip all ready at last year’s press party celebrating Lovells’ merger with Hogan & Hartson. “I know this looks like a coalition,” he said, “but neither of us is the Nick Clegg in this relationship.”
Steady as she goes subscription
And so the rituals of the financial results season begin. As The Lawyer went to press the day before the Royal Wedding, most firms we contacted were still hoping their partners would be making one last push on billing.
Passmore triumphs in Simmons senior partner election subscription
Second round of voting sees star litigator come out on top; rival Dawkins to return to fee-earning
Litigation chief wins top job at Simmons subscription
Colin Passmore has won the senior partner election at Simmons & Simmons, beating former managing partner Mark Dawkins in the final round of voting.
Yorkshire terriers subscription
Twenty years ago a brash Yorkshire firm called Dibb Lupton decided it could go mid-tier and that SME corporate clients needed a more responsive service than City firms were providing.
Kirkland adds Shearman high yield star to City team subscription
Kirkland & Ellis has scooped Shearman & Sterling high yield partner Ward McKimm in its latest foray into the lateral hiring market.
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) has made its 20th lateral in three years with the hire of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) real estate partner David Johnston.
Travers – too posh to push? subscription
Most managing partners would kill to have Andrew Lilley’s problems.
Dickie Dees’ growth drive kicks off structural shift subscription
Dickinson Dees has launched a partnership consultation on remuneration as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of its business.
Simmons’ senior partner vote sees six in the frame subscription
Six Simmons & Simmons partners have confirmed their intention to stand for the senior partner job, to be vacated by current incumbent David Dickinson by the end of June.
The genesis of our In-house Thought Leaders project can be traced back to our annual summit for in-house lawyers last year, when we eavesdropped on conversations among delegates. Whatever sector those lawyers were operating in we found that a consistent set of non-industry-specific topics animated them, from workplace issues or reputation to regulation or data protection, and they were relishing the opportunity to learn from their peers’ experiences.
The Lawyer’s great debate: e-disclosure subscription
One of the biggest issues in litigation management at the moment is e-disclosure.
IP rights: Dyson subscription
IP rights: FT subscription
Workplace: Old Mutual subscription
Bribery/Anti-corruption: Shell subscription
Regulation: Bank of America Merrill Lynch subscription
Data protection: Heinz subscription
Industry stars to judge The Lawyer Awards 2011 subscription
The Lawyer has assembled a stellar list of judges for The Lawyer Awards 2011 this summer.
How blogs plug the legal drain subscription
Last week I chaired a debate on the future of legal blogging, held at One Crown Office Row and featuring three excellent web commentators: David Allen Green of the Jack of Kent blog, Carl Gardner of the Head of Legal blog and Adam Wagner of the UK Human Rights Blog.
City firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has revamped its management structure, appointing a London head to support firmwide managing partner Michael Greville.
Addleshaws vows: no more drudge work for associates subscription
Routine work to be sent to new paralegal centre; associates to ramp up client-facing skills
Former Herbert Smith senior partner David Gold will set up on his own as a strategic litigation consultant when he leaves the City firm next month after 37 years.
Olswang’s middle aged spread subscription
Olswang spent its teenage years alternately wanting to be accepted by the City establishment and cocking a snook at it. Always best known for its hip (well, by law firm standards) media brand, its decision to go all-out for corporate, private equity and real estate seemed like borrowing another girl’s lipstick.
Shell quizzes all advisers on corruption policies subscription
Shell has upped the ante on anti-corruption prior to this year’s implementation of the Bribery Act by extending its scrutiny to law firms that advise third parties involved in joint ventures, and therefore are not employed by the company.
Tweetie shy subscription
An IT director at a top 20 firm bet The Lawyer features editor Matt Byrne last week that he could get the phrase ’leveraging their centricities’ into his story on Clifford Chance teaming up with Microsoft. As none of us knew what that meant we couldn’t oblige, but it neatly illustrates the semantic gulf between IT strategists and lawyers.
New year, fresh faces subscription
The first issue of The Lawyer in January is traditionally an exercise in talent-spotting, since it has a fortunate conjunction of The Hot 100 and the top cases of the year. Both are barometers of the market in different ways.
Authority figures add up subscription
If you’d said in 2007 that local authority legal directors would emerge as the profession’s most imaginative group of lawyers, most people would have gone slack-jawed in amazement.
Kass proves he’s a clever Fela subscription
It is not often that in-house lawyers summon their external advisers to an evening of Afrobeat, but Associated Newspapers group legal director Harvey Kass did precisely that earlier this month.
Putting paid to bribery subscription
Our lead story this week, on Dentons suing its former India head Gauri Advani following the allegation of a bribe (something she strongly denies) and costs of a subsequent court case, is a preview of the future for law firms.
The aim of the name subscription
With the exception of Slaughter and May, every law firm has built parts of its business by recruiting external senior talent. Some, such as Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), have been flamboyantly hiring laterals during the recession, much to the incomprehension of its rivals.
Focus: Simmons female representation - Lady billers subscription
From boasting an enviable proportion of female partners to currently having one of the worst showings in the City, Simmons is trying to tackle the problem head-on
The waiting game subscription
In an uncertain world where transactions are down, it makes sense to qualify as a litigator, right?
A&O watchdog to probe client business processes subscription
Allen & Overy (A&O) has put organic business improvement at the centre of its strategy as it looks to improve profitability and efficiency in what it sees as a low-growth era for legal services.
Crossing the LPO Rubicon subscription
Our report on Slaughter and May setting up a panel of LPO providers seems to be proof that outsourcing is here to stay.
…despite five-year trend revealing gradual decline in number of owners
Focus: Equity partnership and EPP: Slash and earn subscription
With the chances of making equity gradually reducing across the top 100, has the focus on PEP radically changed the structure of partnership?
Partners in time subscription
I always smile when partners complain about how radically different things are from a decade ago.
DAC targets Brazil with insurance firm link-up subscription
Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) is putting Latin America at the heart of its strategy with a formal association with São Paolo boutique insurance law firm JBO Advocacia.
Kingsley Napley subscription
Kingsley Napley is on an expansion drive.
Pride 2010: all equal in love and law subscription
With more than a million participants, Pride has now become one of the biggest parades in the country. And yet up until a year ago it never had formal representation from the legal profession, when around 40 turned out.
Slimmers’ world subscription
The shrinking starts here: as we report today, total revenue for the UK top 30 was £10.84bn, down half a billion from last year’s figure of £11.36bn. So are the days of City growth over?
The outstanding achievement of Sir Geoffrey Vos subscription
Amid all the celebrations at The Lawyer Awards last week, one of the most warmly received was the Editor’s Award, reserved for individuals in the profession who have made a difference.
Double standards subscription
First it was on, then it was off, then it was on again: Mayer Brown and Simmons are doing a bit of a Burton-Taylor, but with a tad less flouncing.
“There’s a lot of similarity between acting and the law,” says Victoria Ross.
Dispute resolution laid bare by top panel subscription
?The Lawyer Debate on Dispute Resolution, 8 June 2010: THE LAWYER’s first town hall debate on dispute resolution took place last week (8 June), with a stellar panel and an audience of general counsel and City litigators.
Human resources strategy is no longer just about managing redundancies; it now requires a creative engagement with a new legal world. That was the message from The Lawyer’s annual HR Strategy conference last week.
Source of Doubt subscription
The experience of CMS Cameron McKenna is a lesson for anyone who assumes that reorganisation of business processes can lead us to the sunlit uplands.
AT THE Hogan Lovells annual press party last week co-chief executive David Harris gave a short speech. As always, there was a strategic theme. This time the new American partners were in town, and three weeks into the merger Harris was keen to push the firm’s perennial line that this was a deal between equals. “I know this looks like a coalition,” he said, “but neither of us is the Nick Clegg in this relationship.”
US firms go head-to-head with magic circle establishment.
Things can only get better subscription
The financial year ended last week in the usual flurry of bill-chasing, but the mood was more relaxed than I’ve seen for a while.
SJ Berwin’s Statesmanship subscription
You can’t fault Ralph Baxter’s tenacity. It’s a standing joke among managing partners that at some point they will have received a call from the Orrick chairman, but a decade on from its failed talks with Bird & Bird the US firm’s obsession with completing a London merger has still never been realised.
Travers Smith names Carroll as new senior partner subscription
Former Travers Smith managing partner Chris Carroll is to take over as the firm’s senior partner. He will replace Alasdair Douglas, who is understood to be retiring in June after 25 years as a partner at the silver circle firm and nearly five years as senior partner.
Unnatural selection subscription
Finding your own conversational gambits used to be the mark of the averagely socially skilled lawyer.
Coming back to haunt you subscription
“I woke up and heard the news on the radio on Friday morning,” says a magic circle partner, “and thought, ’Christ, I hope that law firm they’re talking about isn’t us’.”
Orchestral manoeuvres make their mark at Bakers subscription
David Pyatt doesn’t get to meet his audience too much. The principal French horn player of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) tends to spend his life shuttling between rehearsal rooms and the Barbican concert hall.
Say hello to the Mexican wave subscription
You’re running a mid-sized regional firm and the pressure is on. The systems are there, the staff are there, but the work’s drying up. Can you find new revenue streams? Here’s a niche: pitching for the standardised work the big names deem too unprofitable.
The next world power? subscription
Too often the magic circle firms are lumped together as if they were strategically homogenous. Allen & Overy’s (A&O) decision to open in Australia, taking 17 partners, mostly from Clayton Utz, is a tacit endorsement of Clifford Chance’s world view.
BLG dumps partner lockstep in firmwide rejig subscription
Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) is set to abandon its modified lockstep for an entirely merit-based partner remuneration system, while also considering a move away from associate lockstep as part of a firmwide shake-up of performance.
Hoff’s scoff at libel reform subscription
After years railing against Mr Justice Eady’s judgments, has the Daily Mail found a judge it actually likes?
Focus: Flexible Working - Now you see me… subscription
Flexible working is no barrier to promotion, as these women - all working mothers at the top of their game - can testify
Ropes raids Weil for restructuring hire subscription
Weil Gotshal & Manges restructuring partner Tony Horspool is leaving the firm to join Ropes & Gray less than two years after defecting from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.
The future of litigation subscription
If 2008 was the year of Buncefield and 2009 the year of professional negligence, then 2010 is the year of bank-on-bank litigation.
Testing times for future lawyers subscription
In a year of chronicling the recession, it’s fitting that our final issue of 2009 leads on the effect of the downturn on the future members of the legal profession.
Cash and candour subscription
Ralph Cohen is being perfectly upfront. It’s been a tough year for SJ Berwin; if it makes its next quarterly partner payments next February that’ll be the first in 12 months.
Workplace issues have dominated 2009, and not always in a good way. As The Lawyer Legal JobWatch recounted, there were more than 4,200 redundancies in The Lawyer’s UK 200 list - and those were just the official ones.
GTM adds to London restructuring team subscription
Former Kirkland & Ellis restructuring specialist Lyndon Norley is to join Greenberg Traurig Maher (GTM) in London next month as the US-headquartered firm continues to build its UK operation.
How was it for you? subscription
As this year nears its close, The Lawyer will be running a number of analysis pieces on the impact of the recession on private practice, having already taken the temp-erature among clients this year with our research related to charge-out rates and fee discounts.
Education: a bad business? subscription
It’s hard to escape the suspicion that legal education is becoming a soap opera. It has all the required elements: a closed community, loads of bitching, a dollop of social realism - and my, here’s the obligatory cliffhanger.
It was an unusual invitation. When Carter-Ruck partners Nigel Tait and Guy Martin arrived at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon on 10 November, they were hardly surrounded by fans.
CC London chief to judge partner teamwork subscription
New Clifford Chance London managing partner David Bickerton is exploring how to create an appraisal process that will measure how well partners collaborate with each other, in what he has dubbed a “balanced scorecard”.
BAE Systems chief counsel Roger Wiltshire has urged in-house lawyers to take a proactive approach to reframing their ethical and compliance programmes.
Cisco to use BLP’s Lawyers on Demand subscription
CISCO Europe has indicated that it will start using Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) interim lawyer service Lawyers on Demand to cope with spikes in work.
In-house lawyers push for closer ties with advisers subscription
In-house lawyers have called for greater and more creative collaboration with external counsel for the benefit of all parties.
Age of reason subscription
Here’s a very modern tale. Last week we were contacted by someone claiming to be a client of Shoosmiths partner Andy Ballard who took exception to a gag he had made in our pages.
CC rolls out sector approach to associates subscription
Clifford Chance is to ask its senior associates to choose one of 13 nominated industry sectors as part of its organisational shake-up.
Ropes & Gray has hired finance partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz to spearhead its London office launch.
Cult of responsibility subscription
Cynics, begone. So much for all those glum predictions that the recession will put paid to law firms’ fancy corporate responsibility (CR) programmes.
Eastwell to join Links spin-off firm subscription
Linklaters’ former capital markets head Nick Eastwell is joining Kinstellar, the Central and Eastern European (CEE) practice spun off by the magic circle firm in November 2008.
Law firms and in-housers give deal bibles a bashing subscription
A joint working party of in-house and private practice lawyers has thrashed out a common standardised approach for the exchange of electronic deal bibles. The new approach is intended to enable in-house departments to access important post-transaction documents.
Simpson Thacher names new KKR link subscription
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acquisition finance veteran Tony Keal is retiring at the end of this calendar year, with the firm nominating recently promoted partner Ian Barratt to take over the key Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) relationship in London.
Residential mortgage-backed securities issue creates buzz in the market as investors flood in. By Catrin Griffiths
Ex-Slaughters and SJ Berwin chiefs team up subscription
Former Slaughter and May senior partner Tim Clark and former SJ Berwin senior partner David Harrel are teaming up to launch a global investigative company called Proven.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is gearing up for closer cooperation with overseas prosecutors as the fight against financial crime gains momentum during the recession.
?Opening speech sparks debate on civil recovery orders as Alderman defends new pragmatic direction
Big four to become tax players? subscription
Tax lawyers are no longer on the sidelines. In June the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development announced it was considering forcing multinationals to reveal how much tax they pay in each jurisdiction.
The power of 10 subscription
The past decade has brought recession, consolidation and a cultural revolution to the legal sector in the UK. Catrin Griffiths and Margaret Taylor assess how the top firms have evolved and defined the changing times
BLP boosts tax and trusts with CC arrival subscription
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is continuing to build its tax and trusts department with another recruit from Clifford Chance in the shape of private client partner Murray North.
Kirkland & Ellis launches in Shanghai subscription
Kirkland & Ellis is to open in Shanghai in November to create its second Asia office.
Cobbetts’ hidden agenda subscription
Nobody takes pleasure in firms’ bad results, but it’s hard not to smile at what’s going on at Cobbetts. Not because of the firm’s poor financials, but because it thinks it can deflect attention by, er, not declaring its profits this year. This is the law firm equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “La, la, la, la, la”.
Just one day after TheLawyer.com reported (3 August) that Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz were leaving Freshfields Bruckhaus Derigner, a headhunter was already emailing senior City banking lawyers about a position that was available in a firm with a £1.44m average profit per equity partner (PEP) - the exact number that Freshfields posted this year.
Time to ditch the LPC? subscription
The LPC is a ludicrous anachronism that ought to be scrapped: discuss. Our report last week (27 July) that the Law Society was launching a campaign to warn students off a law career came just a week after the publication of the Milburn report, which criticised the legal profession for being a closed shop.
His £22m bill attracted all the wrong headlines, but Charles Randell has kept his cool. By Catrin Griffiths
Magic portions subscription
I’m not quite sure who Ted Burke thinks he’s kidding. Freshfields’ spin on its financials is cute, but not terribly convincing.
The prudent path: merger lite subscription
It was entirely coincidental, but last week’s announcement by Norton Rose that it was merging with Australia’s Deacons came on the morning of The Lawyer Awards, where the former won Law Firm of the Year. Nice timing.
Focus: Greenberg Traurig Maher subscription
Finally, Maher gets to run his own show - with his name on the door. The best thing about setting up Greenberg Traurig’s European operation, says Paul Maher, is the autonomy.
US giant in retreat from Olswang alliance as it launches in London with former Mayer Brown star
Maher puts his name to his claim subscription
Let me break it to Olswang. Greenberg Traurig may be saying nice things about its relationship with you, but the days of your cooperation are numbered.
Are we there yet? subscription
There’s an old cliché routinely advanced by history undergraduates that the middle class is rising, whatever the century. It’s easy to find the legal market equivalent: whatever the political circumstances, the Indian market is about to open up.
Hammonds Direct partners set for court showdown subscription
Battle commences as one partner rejects £2.3m cash call following collapse of volume business
The Transatlantic Elite 2009: Ups and downs subscription
London is no longer the promised land for US firms. By Catrin Griffiths
The Lawyer Awards Corporate Team of the Year shortlist was again inundated with worthy winners, says Catrin Griffiths
It's tough at the top subscription
Who on earth would choose to be a managing partner nowadays?
Key hire Mike Woollard credited with putting firm in the running for big-ticket contracts.
Travers’ chief decision imminent subscription
THE CONSULTATION for the next managing partner at Travers Smith is entering the final stages, with a decision expected at the end of this month.
If music be the food of law... subscription
I’m not sure why, but a large proportion of the lawyers I meet are frustrated musicians.
A welcome end to rigidity subscription
Now that recession panic appears to have lost its stranglehold on the collective consciousness of lawyers, something interesting is starting to emerge. It’s an anti-strategy trend; the freedom to be opportunistic without three sets of position papers and a partner vote.
Davies to Linklaters: it’s good to talk subscription
Chief puts internal communication at top of agenda ahead of major shake-up
Fried Frank makes 99 redundant subscription
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson has confirmed it is laying off lawyers and staff as a result of the economic downturn.
Keep calm and carry on subscription
Ever since the onset of the recession there’s been talk of a paradigm shift within the law. This week Matt Byrne interviews managing partners of mainly transatlantic firms for their views, but that’s not the whole story:
HSBC rights issue has seen Norton Rose steal a march on its magic circle rivals.
No longer the glam drink ticket, Mipim may be changing its spots – and about time too, says Catrin Griffiths
Putting life into law subscription
If there’s one topic that elicits more comment on TheLawyer.com than any other, it’s education.cat
The Leader Column subscription
At a particularly jolly lunch last week, three partners from a thriving mid-size City firm were hooting with laughter about the number of pointless takeover approaches they had had. “Mind you,” confided one of the lawyers wistfully, “it’d be great to get a big cheque from a load of Americans, and then wave goodbye. The problem is, you have to stick around.”