Grapevine

Yet again, confirmation that lawyers are a cynical bunch. Most of the responses to last week’s questions were verging on the defamatory, so I’ll try to give you the gist of the answers. (The views expressed below are not necessarily ours, by the way.)

Most of you think that DLA is the most overhyped law firm, with Herbert Smith second. Honours for most pointless rebrand went to Ashurst – perhaps inevitable, this, since it’s the freshest in the memory. (A number of respondents also brought up the old Hammonds ad campaign of three years ago as an example of dodgy repositioning.)

Best biscuits: lots of cheating here, with most private practice lawyers nominating their own firms in strict contravention of the rules, but we’re going to award it to Linklaters, which has managed to impress at least two clients with its catering.

Most convincing international expansion by a law firm saw Latham & Watkins and Shearman & Sterling tie for first place; notably, these two scooped US Firm of the Year and Global Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards in June. And for least convincing international expansion and worst-performing law firm? Well, let’s draw a veil, shall we? As for the other questions, it’s Lennon and Christina all the way.

More awards from us now, for our favourite law firm events of the year. These have included the White & Case Russian capital markets bash, which included a terrifyingly diverse choice of vodkas; the Clifford Chance Chanukah party last week; the Weil Gotshal premiere of Russell Crowe’s new film Master and Commander (and we got some lovely toy telescopes to boot); the Schillings party, which boasted Holly Valance, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and… er… Jeremy Clarkson; and the Jones Day Gouldens insolvency party.

Lastly, many thanks for your responses to various Grapevines (some comments more astringent than others) over the course of 2003. We’re delighted that Lawyer News Weekly now has over 27,200 subscribers, making it the most successful email news service in the legal sector.

We’ll be returning in the New Year. In the meantime, have a good Christmas.