London calling [for Mayer Brown]

London might be calling to the faraway town of Chicago, but don’t forget Brits can be a sceptical lot.

After Mayer Brown’s management sung the City’s praises in last week’s Behind the Law interview, readers have responded by suggesting it is all tosh.

“Money has been flowing in from the US for a number of years now to keep the place afloat,” piped up one reader, “despite the attempts of management to shave off overheads.”

Ouch. Perhaps this answers Mayer Brown chairman Paul Theiss’s question on why The Lawyer is so focused on who has left and who has joined – readers want to know what’s going on, after all. Certainly the firm faced a string of exits and redundancies in the UK last year, with a recent departee being US securitisation and structured finance partners Bruce Bloomingdale and Jeremiah Wagner. But – at least on the face of it – London senior partner Sean Connolly has made good on his promise to drive change.

If you’re still after evidence of a resurgence, the office attracted four partners in two weeks recently, including Berwin Leighton Paisner banking and finance partner Richard Todd, with sources telling us to expect at least two more in the firm’s finance group. This compares to five laterals in London across the whole year in 2012 and 30 globally.

It doesn’t mean all is grand and great, but at least it’s some change on last year. You’ll have to read the interview to find out the rest. We’ll await the comments.

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