Catrin Griffiths

The Lawyer

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.

  • A game of thrones


    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 Maher lands Slaughter and May partner to spearhead UK tax practice


    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


    Let us praise legal services.

  • Outflanked in this War of the Roses


    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


    This week we publish the second edition of The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, the most comprehensive study of the legal market in the region

  • Culture vs risk: How to run a law firm in challenging times


    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


    Any discussion of innovation in private practice must confront two challenges: nurturing culture and managing risk.

  • Can the collaboration trend work in favour of the mid-size firm?


    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


    More and more City firms are disaggregating in the quest for efficiency.

  • Dentons, The American Lawyer row, and why PEP is not "meaningless" download


    Profitability is still a valid metric when examining law firm performance.

  • Beware the acquisitive accountant


    The accountants are making some lawyers jittery. Some, but not all.

  • We need to talk about mental health


    In October 2012 Deloitte decided to tackle the issue of workplace mental health seriously

  • Client partners are a special breed


    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


    Insurance giant QBE has revamped its roster of external advisers for its European operations and created two distinct panels for the first time.

  • Kirkland & Ellis raids Weil for banking star Stephen Lucas


    Weil Gotshal & Manges banking chief Stephen Lucas is leaving the firm for Kirkland & Ellis after three years at the firm.

  • The power of working in concert


  • There’s growth, but it ain’t organic


    The financial year has ended, the bills are in, and results time is upon us.

  • We’ve seen the measure of excellence


    The 20th anniversary shortlist of The Lawyer Awards is brimming with excellence.

  • EY hires ex-BLP finance head Kellett to launch UK financial services legal team


    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


    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


    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 hires restructuring guru Andrew Wilkinson from Goldman


    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


    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.

  • Freshfields super-dealmaker O'Brien retires - to do more deals


    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


    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


    Where do you think your local government clients are heading? It’s not a rhetorical question

  • US energy giant Sutherland launches in London with boutique merger


    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


    Have the magic circle firms squandered their lead in acquisition finance?

  • Chance of a sturdier Saudi solution


    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


    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


    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


    After a decade of phenomenal growth, Chinese law firms are now having to confront the issue of succession.

  • DLA shake-up: Knowles to become chair, Angel to step down next year


    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


    BLP’s Eisenberg blames PEP slump on not-so-magical undercutting

  • BLP's Eisenberg: the magic circle has been undercutting us


    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


    Great news for junior lawyers: trainee retention rates are on the up.

  • A farewell to UK finance work


    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


    Shell legal director Peter Rees QC has left the oil giant, just three years after joining the company.

  • The year the future arrived


    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


    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


    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


    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 private equity heavyweight Bown leaves for CVC


    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


    While law firm financials may be on a sounder footing, management problems abound.

  • Mergers: the ultimate test of loyalty


    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.

  • BLP management to review banking department as finance head quits


    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


    This week’s issue is devoted to cyber security, a topic simultaneously fascinating and terrifying.

  • Linklaters flies in Stockholm private equity partner to fill Bagshaw-Youle gap


    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


    Grand old Paris firm takes radical action to reboot dwindling partner line-up

  • The Lawyer UK 200 goes interactive


    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 or contact Daniela Badcock on +44 (0) 207 970 4582

  • Former Freshfields London head Tim Jones to join England Rugby 2015


    Freshfields corporate partner and former London head Tim Jones is leaving the firm to join England Rugby 2015 as general counsel.

  • Linklaters star private equity duo quit for White & Case after management showdown


    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


    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


    Do a Ted Burke and go in-house at a private equity house, but pin down those perks

  • Learning to live with procurement


    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.

  • The Lawyer Management Conference & Awards: Law means business


    Leadership, organisation and funding in a fast-changing market were the themes of our recent law firm management event 

  • Slow boat to Chinese profitability


     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


    What do Aviva GC Monica Risam and Standard Life GC Malcolm Wood have in common?

  • Hogan Lovells to review stress management in wake of partner's suicide


    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


    Panel reviews elicit many opinions, but remain the most popular way of choosing counsel.

  • The future is client-shaped


    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.

  • BLP downgrades Managed Legal Services initiative as lateral partner exits pile up


    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


  • Myth of the client calculated decision


    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?


    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


    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


    One of our most-read stories on last week on was a defiantly geeky report on Addleshaw Goddard mapping 46 primary legal processes.

  • Asia’s gems revealed in all their glory


    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,

  • Leader: Why legal aid cuts should worry the City too. PR campaigning was not enough


  • Chris Howard has left Linklaters again


    Will it be third time lucky at Sullivans?

  • Will China light SJB's way to the US?


    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


    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


  • Tough questions to face on trainees


  • All is volatile among US firms in London


    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


    BLP shake-up sees firm facing up to a world of changed priorities

  • Leader: HSF disputes stars crave recognition


  • BLP real estate head MacGregor to hand reins to de Pury


    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?


  • Why DWF is nothing like DLA


  • From New York Mayor to over here


  • All change in transatlantic referrals


    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

    28 Jan 2013

    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


    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


    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


    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?


    What a year. 2012 was the moment when so many predictions started to be realised. Just consider the following:

  • US litigators need London weight


    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


    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?


    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?


    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


    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?


    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


    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


  • Magic circle’s lost property mojo


    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.

  • A&O, Shearman advise on $900m Israeli gas field financing


    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


    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


    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

    30 July 2012

    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


    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


    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


    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

    25 June 2012

    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

    28 May 2012

    When it comes to law firm dating, a GSOH is most definitely required.

  • Revealed: two-thirds of solicitors would take in-house role


    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 revamps management as first female head takes the helm


    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

    12 March 2012

    Every year in Westminster Hall a small group of honorary QCs line up to get an award alongside the real ones.

  • Knowles under pressure after DLA kept in dark over personal LawVest stake


    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


    LawVest has signed up 12 silks for its legal services offering Riverview Law, which launches today.

  • Brand new bromantics

    13 February 2012

    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


    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

    23 January 2012

    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?

    28 November 2011

    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?

  • Ex-Linklaters chief Angel to join DLA Piper as senior partner


    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

    24 October 2011

    You wait months for a good judicial speech, then four come along at once.

  • White & Case: no loitering

    17 October 2011

    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

    10 October 2011

    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.

  • Top UK law firms unite to launch social mobility scheme


    First profession-wide work experience scheme unveiled as 23 top firms sign up

  • Slaughters puts emphasis on China after chief’s exit

    12 September 2011

    Slaughter and May has rejigged its Greater China practice as veteran finance partner George Goulding retires.

  • Greenberg Traurig Maher employment dispute with former partner settles


    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.

  • Top of equity: Firms break into millionaires’ club as partner earnings rise

    15 August 2011

    Largest membership since 2008 as Ashurst reappears and Clydes joins

  • Linklaters on board as Eircom heads for major restructure

    25 July 2011

    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


    The partners at Beachcroft and Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) have voted in favour of the proposed merger between the two firms.

  • End of an era for Nabarro as Paradise resigns from top spot

    18 July 2011

    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

    18 July 2011

    IMO, European Directories and WorldPay have done little to sort out intercreditor disagreements.

  • Broken news

    11 July 2011

    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


    US firm aims to complement its financial restructuring strength with a serious litigation player in the City.

  • WFW partner is a true Renaissance woman

    4 July 2011

    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


    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


    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

    20 June 2011

    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

    20 June 2011

    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.

  • Heinz to create European panel as part of global review


    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

    13 June 2011

    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.

  • Finance industry’s principles keep the watchdogs at bay

    30 May 2011

    The restating of sector guidelines on retail structured products is politically well-timed, says Catrin Griffiths

  • Called to account

    23 May 2011

    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

    23 May 2011

    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

    23 May 2011

    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 dismisses senior litigator over £1m of false expenses


    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

    9 May 2011

    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

    2 May 2011

    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


    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

    25 April 2011

    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

    25 April 2011

    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


    Kirkland & Ellis has scooped Shearman & Sterling high yield partner Ward McKimm in its latest foray into the lateral hiring market.

  • RPC’s all-equity model key to attracting latest lateral


    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?

    04 April 2011

    Most managing partners would kill to have Andrew Lilley’s problems.

  • Dickie Dees’ growth drive kicks off structural shift

    28 March 2011

    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

    28 March 2011

    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

    21 March 2011

    One of the biggest issues in litigation management at the moment is e-disclosure.

  • IP rights: Dyson


    Gill Smith

  • IP rights: FT


    Tim Bratton

  • Workplace: Old Mutual


    Meekal Hashmi

  • Bribery/Anti-corruption: Shell


    Richard WIseman

  • Regulation: Bank of America Merrill Lynch


    Janet Wood

  • Data protection: Heinz


    Janice More

  • Industry stars to judge The Lawyer Awards 2011

    14 March 2011

    The Lawyer has ­assembled a stellar list of judges for The Lawyer Awards 2011 this summer.

  • How blogs plug the legal drain

    21 February 2011

    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.

  • WFW appoints London boss as back-up for managing partner

    14 February 2011

    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

    7 February 2011

    Routine work to be sent to new paralegal centre; associates to ramp up client-facing skills

  • Gold sets up post-Herbies consultancy for complex litigation

    31 January 2011

    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

    31 January 2011

    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

    24 January 2011

    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

    17 January 2011

    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

    3 January 2011

    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

    13 December 2010

    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

    29 November 2010

    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

    22 November 2010

    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

    8 November 2010

    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

    25 October 2010

    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

    18 October 2010

    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


    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

    4 October 2010

    Our report on Slaughter and May setting up a panel of LPO providers seems to be proof that outsourcing is here to stay.

  • Equity partnerships ride out the recession at UK’s top firms…

    13 September 2010

    …despite five-year trend revealing gradual decline in number of owners

  • Focus: Equity partnership and EPP: Slash and earn


    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

    13 September 2010

    I always smile when partners complain about how radically different things are from a decade ago.

  • DAC targets Brazil with insurance firm link-up

    6 September 2010

    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

    9 August 2010

    Kingsley Napley is on an expansion drive.

  • Pride 2010: all equal in love and law

    12 July 2010

    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

    12 July 2010

    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

    28 June 2010

    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

    21 June 2010

    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.

  • Outer Temple’s Lissack teaches Rada students a thing or two about courtroom drama

    21 June 2010

    “There’s a lot of similarity between acting and the law,” says Victoria Ross.

  • Dispute resolution laid bare by top panel

    14 June 2010

    ?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.

  • It’s time for human resources to get creative, says HR Strategy conference

    31 May 2010

    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

    24 May 2010

    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.

  • The Hogan Lovells love-in continues – but don’t mention remuneration


    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.”

  • Lawyer Awards banking & finance line-up go big on restructurings

    17 May 2010

    US firms go head-to-head with magic circle establishment.

  • Things can only get better

    3 May 2010

    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

    26 April 2010

    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

    29 March 2010

    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

    22 March 2010

    Finding your own conversational gambits used to be the mark of the averagely socially skilled lawyer.

  • Coming back to haunt you

    15 March 2010

    “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


    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

    8 March 2010

    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?

    15 February 2010

    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

    8 February 2010

    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

    8 February 2010

    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…

    1 February 2010

    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


    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

    11 January 2010

    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

    14 December 2009

    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

    7 December 2009

    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.

  • Innovators and communicators dominate HR Awards shortlist

    7 December 2009

    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

    30 November 2009

    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?

    30 November 2009

    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?

    23 November 2009

    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.

  • Carter-Ruck defends 1849 libel rule against reform campaigners

    16 November 2009

    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

    16 November 2009

    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 counsel urges in-housers to address reputational risk

    09 November 2009

    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

    09 November 2009

    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

    09 November 2009

    In-house lawyers have called for greater and more creative collaboration with external counsel for the benefit of all parties.

  • Age of reason

    26 October 2009

    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

    26 October 2009

    Clifford Chance is to ask its senior associates to choose one of 13 nominated industry sectors as part of its organisational shake-up.

  • Allen and Goetz to launch UK base for Boston's Ropes & Gray


    Ropes & Gray has hired finance partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz to spearhead its London office launch.

  • Cult of responsibility

    19 October 2009

    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

    19 October 2009

    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

    12 October 2009

    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

    12 October 2009

    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.

  • A&O, Sidley’s work on Lloyds RMBS deal gives hope to battered market

    28 September 2009

    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

    28 September 2009

    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.

  • SEC beefs up cross-border cooperation in blitz on fraud

    21 September 2009

    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.

  • The Lawyer Fraud Prosecution Conference: SFO chief: educate, don’t just prosecute

    21 September 2009

    ?Opening speech sparks debate on civil recovery orders as Alderman defends new pragmatic direction

  • Big four to become tax players?

    14 September 2009

    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

    UK200 2009

    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

    7 September 2009

    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


    Kirkland & Ellis is to open in Shanghai in November to create its second Asia office.

  • Cobbetts’ hidden agenda

    10 August 2009

    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”.

  • Freshfields’ banking ambition takes further knock as duo quits

    10 August 2009

    Just one day after 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?

    3 August 2009

    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.

  • How Treasury work thrust publicity shy Slaughters into the spotlight

    13 July 2009

    His £22m bill attracted all the wrong headlines, but Charles Randell has kept his cool. By Catrin Griffiths

  • Magic portions

    6 July 2009

    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

    29 June 2009

    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

    22 June 2009

    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.

  • Exclusive: Greenberg hires Maher to build '21st century firm'

    15 June 2009

    US giant in retreat from Olswang alliance as it launches in London with former Mayer Brown star

  • Maher puts his name to his claim

    15 June 2009

    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?

    8 June 2009

    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

    18 May 2009

    Battle commences as one partner rejects £2.3m cash call following collapse of volume business

  • The Transatlantic Elite 2009: Ups and downs

    The Lawyer Transatlantic Elite

    London is no longer the promised land for US firms. By Catrin Griffiths

  • All firms great and small remain wise and wonderful despite recession woes

    11 May 2009

    The Lawyer Awards Corporate Team of the Year shortlist was again inundated with worthy winners, says Catrin Griffiths

  • It's tough at the top

    4 May 2009

    Who on earth would choose to be a managing partner nowadays?

  • SJ Berwin emerges from the wings to make most of insolvency boom

    4 May 2009

    Key hire Mike Woollard credited with putting firm in the running for big-ticket contracts.

  • Travers’ chief decision imminent

    4 May 2009

    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...

    27 April 2009

    I’m not sure why, but a large proportion of the lawyers I meet are frustrated musicians.

  • A welcome end to rigidity

    6 April 2009

    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

    6 April 2009

    Chief puts internal communication at top of agenda ahead of major shake-up

  • Fried Frank makes 99 redundant


    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

    30 March 2009

    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:

  • Punching above its weight: Norton Rose holds it own in corporate ring

    30 March 2009

    HSBC rights issue has seen Norton Rose steal a march on its magic circle rivals.

  • No whining as Mipim waves au revoir to bacchanalian excess

    23 March 2009

    No longer the glam drink ticket, Mipim may be changing its spots – and about time too, says Catrin Griffiths

  • Putting life into law

    23 March 2009

    If there’s one topic that elicits more comment on than any other, it’s