Judgement day looms for Herbies corporate partners

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  • Lawyers are so fickle and forgetful. No doubt it was the corporate partners propping up the litigators a few years ago- that of course is soon forgotton. I thought the idea of a partnership was that it is like a marriage- for better for worse. One branch of the firm shoud support others if one is having a tough time- things even themselves out over time. Oh- just remembered- laywers cant do that as it might affect thier cut of the equity- - they might only earn £600k and not the £900k they "deserve". How will they pay for the mortgage on that house in the South of France! Grow up the lot of you- you are ment to be one firm working as a team, not a load of back public school stabbers.

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  • Oh dear, isn't this how Barlow Lyde started their decline? By knifing the corporate partners, which led eventually to a free-for-all. And ironically, 5/6 years ago, a number of Barlow Lyde partners said their aspiration was to make the firm the next Herbert Smith. The last posting is so right - lawyers are greedy and short termist.

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  • Herbert Smith is in an unfortunate no-mans land, far too big to be a boutique practice but dwarfed by the global firms. It's weakness in corporate is a further devastating flaw.

    The firm needs either a transformative merger or a massive cull to strip back to a London/litigation driven core. At the moment it is dying on its feet.

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  • Perhaps some of the corporate partners in question will remember how they treated the property partners at HS a few years back ? What comes round goes round.

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  • OMG!! The last two postings prove my point. If these reflect current thinking, its bye bye Herbies. You might think your brand will save you, but not when you're too focused on spilling blood on the floor.

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  • The problem with pure lockstep is that you need strong management to deal with underperformance. Herbies management have consistenly failed to grip this issue and exit underperforming partners. Ultimately pure lockstep will never work.

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  • Even a HS trainee I notice some very real organisational problems. There is a huge coasting culture amongst many equity partners. If HS wants to succeed it simply has to operate more like any other business.

    Its a shame because HS has some amazing talent in corporate. Some of the comments above that HS it not as international as its competitors are way off the mark: HS has internationalised in the past view years. Its Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Middle East and Moscow practices are really very strong and most work is cross-border.

    In my view it would make sense for the firm to focus on building the areas of corporate in which it is at the top of the market, in particular energy.

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  • HS is a firm stuck in yester-year run by work-shy has beens who provide a sub-standard and over-priced service - the place will be on its knees in a few more years if current trends continue.

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