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.
But elite UK firms still struggle to compete with Wall Street’s finest when in New York. Is it time to focus on somewhere more hospitable? That somewhere might just be Washington DC. While Linklaters saw the exit of a New York team including former US chief Larry Byrne to Pepper Hamilton in February, it poached two partners for its nascent Washington office with a pair from Bingham McCutchen in May.
Likewise, A&O lost its former head of US financial services Douglas Landy to Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in New York, but made a landmark hire in the director of criminal enforcement for the US Justice Department’s antitrust division John Terzaken in Washington DC.
“It’s just more fluid than New York,” said one source, explaining that the capital is an easier place for international firms to have a crack. The Law Society and the UK Trade & Investment have taken note, this year organising a programme of activities in a bid to help UK lawyers get the most out of Washington. This included a networking reception for UK firms, general counsel and members of the ABA Section of International Law at the British Embassy in Washington DC. “There is increased interest in Washington DC with two magic circle firms opening DC offices in the past two years,” said Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff in April.
And firms are taking note – an insider at A&O said that the firm’s relatively new US managing partner, London capital markets partner David Krischer, is focusing on building up the US as a whole rather than zoning in on its New York office. Watch that space.