The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Lawyers have expressed concern that the new Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill will give the Government unprecedented powers to make and change UK laws at will.
The powers in the bill allow a minister to amend legislation without parliamentary scrutiny. The idea is to reduce red tape, but the lack of safeguards has lawyers worried.
Peter Keith-Lucas, a public law specialist at Bevan Brittan, said: "There's no doubt that the bill has been proposed with the best intentions, but the actual measure is pretty breathtaking."
Under the bill, a minister can suggest a change to the legislation if they are satisfied that certain criteria are met. These include that the change is proportional, that it is in the public interest and that it does not curtail human rights. However, it is for the minister to decide that the change meets these criteria. Other restrictions mean that ministers cannot use the powers to increase taxation, cannot create criminal offences that carry sentences of more than two years or make a law to force entry to property.
Michael Smyth, head of Clifford Chance's public policy unit, told The Lawyer: "The concern here is that the parliamentary element of the law-making process is being dismissed, and that's why these proposals are generating a certain amount of attention."
The Government has given assurances that it will not use the power to introduce controversial policies, but as one lawyer said: "Who decides what's controversial? Any succeeding government will not be held to this promise." 'We're concentrating our firepower in London as a gateway to increase our international activity.'
Eversheds chief executive David Gray explains his intentions to use guns to build a new entrance… or something. News, page 4 'Next year there's a much larger pipeline of people who will be in the development position where they'll be considered for promotion.'
Herbert Smith senior partner David Gold assures litigation associates they have career options. News, page 4 'There was always a lot of talk but it never realised itself… I doubt it will happen in my career.'
Former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer China boss Mike Moser does not expect a US merger anytime soon. News, page 9 'We want to make ourselves a little bit less like a local corner shop and a little bit more like Tesco.'
Satish Mistry, head of legal services at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, hunts for retail metaphors. Analysis, page 14 'I can speak geek with our clients if they want.'
Manoj Paul, director of legal affairs at Microsoft-Accenture joint venture Avanade, is proud of his ability to charm his colleagues. Client File, page 16