Back to school

First day back from the summer break, and lawyers across the country are rushing to their desks with smiles on their faces and a song in their hearts.

Of course, September is traditionally a time for workplace resolutions, pledges and vows. Kicking off is Macfarlanes, which as we reveal today (see story), has vowed to attack the financial services and restructuring market with a rare double partner hire: Francis Bridgeman from Allen & Overy and Barry Donnelly from Jones Day.

Given that Macfarlanes lateral recruits are about as rare as sightings of a unicorn, the silver circle firm’s move says a lot about where it thinks the market is going, as well as taking it out of comfort zone of listed companies and private equity. No doubt its role on the debt restructuring of Four Seasons last year propelled its decision.

In similar vein, Norton Rose has changed its Facebook relationship status to Single And Well Up For It.

As we report today (see story), the firm – flush with the initial success of its Deacons tie-up – has drawn up a long list of around 20 potential merger targets stateside.

So who are the firms in that hitlist? Firm chief executive Peter Martyr isn’t telling, but adds gnomically: “We’ve realised that the US is more than just New York.”

Looks like Norton Rose has given up on Travers Smith, then…

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Also on TheLawyer.com: more on how Norton Rose came back from the dead; associates still really, really want partnership; and what City lawyers make of the market a year on from Lehman.