Lawyers – not so hot at PR, are they?

This time last week we brought you news of Nicholas De Lacy Brown, the would-be barrister and Apprentice reject who managed to raise the hackles of Sir Alan Sugar, chavs, non-graduates, football fans and people with a ‘B’ grade GCSE in the course of 60 minutes. See story

This week comes news from solicitors support organisations the Solicitors Benevolent Association, Solicitors’ Assistance Scheme and LawCare, who have resolved to work more closely in providing support and assistance to solicitors, their staff and families.

Um, what?

Yes, no doubt much to the surprise of our non-legal readers – yes, they exist – the nation’s second least popular profession has not one but three organisations dedicated to its welfare, who have together resolved to relieve poor lawyers of the burden of, er, “increasingly complex professional regulations”. See story.

Now its not that we’re unsympathetic – some of our best friends are lawyers – but we can’t quite imagine the TV telethon.

“It is vital that we take the steps necessary to ensure that there is adequate financial, emotional and legal support for those who are most in need,” said SBA Chief Executive Adrian Rees.

Bob Geldof was unavailable for comment.

Johnson and Paradise take five
03-April-2008

Johnson and Paradise might sound like a racy TV detective duo, but the real Johnson (senior partner Simon) and Paradise (managing partner Nicky) show is a little more sedate.

The management pair at the helm of Nabarro announced the firm’s partnership promotions today, and as with all things Nabarro, the theme is steady as she goes. See story

The firm promoted five this year after last year’s seven. Three of the five are from Nabarro’s core practice of real estate. The others are in employment and tax.

But get this: only one was in Sheffield!

Only kidding. Still, as many in management elsewhere must be thinking right now, slow and steady is a nice place to be.

As we noted in our feature on the firm of last year, Nabarro “may not be too exciting, but Johnston would not really want it any other way.” See feature.

Oh wei, oh wei!
02-April-2008

Honestly? German firm Rödl & Partner hasn’t appeared much on our radar in recent months, but it turns out perhaps they should have.

The law and professional services giant, which already has bases in some 77 offices worldwide, announced its 78th today along with plans to hit 80 or more by this time next year. See story.

“The strategic background to Rödl’s expansion was the fall of the Iron Curtain in ’89,” said a spokesperson.

“We realised that all of Rödl’s large clients were internationally driving things forward, so we were forced to make the decision of whether to follow the clients abroad.”

And follow it did.

Rodl opened in Prague back when Czech meant just one half of Czechslovakia, then moved east to Singapore and Indonesia and has since launched across Western Europe, the Middle East, Americas and, well, pretty much everywhere else.

Very politely the firm refused to be drawn on a comparison with DLA Piper.

All we’re saying? Nigel Knowles take note.

Pulling the wool over lawyers’ eyes
01-April-2008
Well it took you a while but the cat’s finally out of the bag: Bankes & Weschler isn’t going to pay its NQs £100,000.

In fact, it’s not even a real firm. April fool! See story. Latham & Watkins can relax. It remains the most generous firm in London.

But what about Eversheds‘ sheep on the roof? See story. Some of you aren’t so sure.

“Kensington Roof top Gardens have flamingos and now Eversheds are to have sheep. It’s hilarious!” wrote one anonymous lawyer.com poster almost as soon as the story went up this morning.

“I suspect as do some of my learned friends that this whole carbon emissions business is a load of old pony.”

Yes, we made that one up too. But the bras that will be supporting Eversheds’ building? See story.

“I think The Lawyer is the real fool – they’re a day early!” another reader posted yesterday.

Nope. That one’s actually true.

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As an appendage to our April Foolishness, thanks to the lawyer at Dewey Cheatem & Howe (“Do we cheat ’em? And how!” geddit?!) who helped us keep up the salary spoof. We salute you, sir.

Anon posted: “Bankes are a top firm and it’s nice to see them make a splash in London. Unlike a lot of firms this year, Bankes are notable for having recently promoted a female associate in corporate, Amanda Hugankiss…”

To have your say on the latest legal news, visit www.thelawyer.com

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Elsewhere on thelawyer.com: women and corporate win out in Ashurst promotions. Go to the Partnership 2008 blog to find out who got the nod.

Women on top
31-March-2008

More good news for women in the law today.Slaughter and May has appointed its first ever female head of corporate, while both of Pinsent Masons‘ new corporate partners are women. See story.

As our cover story today reveals, 2008-09 is already shaping up to be a good year, with more than 25 per cent of promotions going to women for the first time.

As editor Catrin Griffiths observes in her leader, firms that might have been expected to shy away from promoting into corporate given current market conditions, are taking the long view.

Traditionally that would have been bad news for diversity, as transaction-heavy corporate militates against women.

But if recent promotions into corporate at Burges Salmon, Herbies, Olswang, Pinsents, and Wragges plus the new head of corporate at Slaughters are anything to go by, even that might just be a thing of the past.

Check out thelawyer.com’s Partnership 2008 blog for the latest announcements.