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Magic numbers


The Big Four have revealed their results in the space of a week, and it’s good reading for partners at those mega-firms. Freshfields still maintains top spot in PEP, but more pleasing for the big firms is top-line growth. Check out our analysis of the magic circle’s performance over ten years.

Barclays' panel beating


Barclays has taken a radical approach to appointing legal advisers in its first review since 2011, which has slashed the list of firms.

Triumph and tiaras


The Lawyer Awards, in association with Travelers, is the biggest night of the legal year. The top prizes went to RPC, No5 Chambers, Jones Day, PayPal and Royal Mail among others. To find out more about the winners, read below.

Better together


In-house teams are increasingly demanding that their panel firms collaborate more on projects. This week has already seen significant moves by RBS and Barclays, which are now requiring law firms to partner with each other. This is the future.

Trebles all round


Get your glad rags on and prepare to celebrate. The biggest night in the legal calendar is here: It’s The Lawyer Awards 2014, now in its twentieth year. Find out more about our finalists.

China ambitions


What does Linklaters need to do in China? Will it replicate its alliance strategy in South Africa and Australia? Relationships in the Chinese market are shifting all the time, as the stories below demonstrate.

A&O follows its own partner


Magic circle firms are flirting with different ways to approach jurisdictions. Allen & Overy has opportunistically opened in Canada after partner Francois Duquette said he wanted to go back home. Duquette had already spearheaded the firm’s foray into Africa and Abu Dhabi. That’s some track record.

The accountants really are coming


We all know that the Big Four are eyeing the legal market again – and this time, they want to get it right. The question is, are law firms ready and able to defend their perch?

Pound signs


Financial results are starting to pour in. It’s a mixed picture, but largely positive. Here are just some of the recent results stories we’ve run; for more, go to our dedicated financial news page.

Croatian skies


As Croatia takes the stage in Brazil today, thoughts turn lightly to the country’s legal developments. We’ve teamed up with some of the country’s leading firms to bring you their analysis.

Russia, South Korea


Russia and South Korea are fascinating not just because they’re slugging it out in a packed stadium. Both jurisdictions create plenty of work for lawyers, so get a handle on the latest market news by reading our stories below.

The discreet charm of onshoring


Opening a low-cost support centre in the UK has now become the norm amongst larger firms. Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills have launched in Belfast, Ashurst in Glasgow and most recently Hogan Lovells in Birmingham. Where next – Cardiff, Newcastle, Dundee?

Commoditising the market


Nowhere has the legal market changed so radically as the insurance sector over the last ten years. The Lawyer’s research shows the extent to which consolidation has become the norm. Pricing challenges remain, but the dominant firms are truly emerging.

Brazilian trends


It’s begun! If the world media coverage hasn’t put you off, and you want to find out more about Brazil and football from a business perspective, then don’t miss the analyses we’re curating. Lawyers and sport: a volatile mix?

World cup rules


There’s a small matter of a football tournament beginning this week. Is your workplace prepared? Check out the following pieces by Allen & Overy, Eversheds,  Gateley, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Shoosmiths to make sure you’re covered.

Gender tenders


City law firms have now officially put female career progression at the top of their to-do lists. Linklaters has become the latest firm to set targets for female representation at partnership level. Is this a sign of real change, or is it hot air?

Taking the temperature


If you want to find out what’s going on, ask an expert. The Lawyer’s regular peer panels quiz leading practitioners and business professionals on the key trends in their areas. Hear it from the horse’s mouth.

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Harmony reigns supreme


Dissenting opinions at the highest court in the land used to be rife. But as The Lawyer’s article, All For One, highlighted, there has been a dramatic decline in dissenting opinions at the Supreme Court. What’s the reason for this?

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Predicting the unpredictable


Mergers are tricky to pull off at the best of times, and sometimes there are random and unforeseen consequences. As our links below show, mergers can lead to some big names changing home, or knotty integration issues.

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In-house rising stars


Who’s making waves in the in-house community? The best way to find out is to make sure you read our weekly in-house interview, which covers sectors as diverse as mining and funds to retail and leisure. Below is a selection of our most recent profiles.

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Asia calling


Asia may not be the high-growth region that some may have hoped for, but legal talent is still flocking there. Its volatility means there are plenty of potential opportunities, but firms may have to play the long game.

New breed


A number of law firm leaders have been newly elected recently: Freshfields, Clifford Chance, Travers Smith and Herbies  to name just a few. How big is the scale of their task?

Process and profit


The Lawyer’s Management Awards has been a runaway success. It showcases excellence in the operational side of the business of law, from HR IT strategy and client relationship management to finance, training and business development. If you want to find out more, click on the links below.

South African goldmine


Clyde & Co has entered the South African market with something of a bang. It has poached two partners from Linklaters’ ally Webber Wentzel to launch in Cape Town. Clydes has a habit of nabbing partners from Linklaters allies; it did the same in Australia

Sing sing sing


Blame Gareth Malone. The legal profession’s first ever choral competition, Legal Harmony, is taking place in Southwark Cathedral this week. Competing for the ultimate prize, and raising money for their own charities, are Devonshires, Kingsley Napley, Norton Rose Fulbright, Sidley Austin, Travers Smith, Wragge Lawrence Graham and 23 Essex Street. Read some of the choir diaries and place your bets.

European 100 unveiled


Now in its fifth year, The Lawyer European 100 is unveiled today. Find out who’s up and who’s down in our exclusive report, in which the top firms are ranked by revenue – plus, how much the top UK and US firms turn over in Europe. You can buy the full report online.

Training abroad


Pinsent Masons’ move to set up a training contract focused on the Middle East underlines the commitment that firms have to make to grow their own talent, rather than relying on laterals. Hogan Lovells did the same in Moscow and Davis Polk in Hong Kong: who’s next?

External spend


Sainsbury’s has added two more firms – KWMSJB and TLT – to its formal roster following its recent panel review, which was run jointly by the legal and procurement functions. See below for a selection of the most recent tenders.

A West End tale


Davenport Lyons has been absorbed by the considerably smaller Mayfair firm Gordon Dadds following the former’s administration. It’s rocky times for small-to-medium sized firms, but West End practices have been feeling the pinch more than most.

Nothing more certain than taxes


It’s not been the easiest time for salaried partners in LLPs. Their tax status has been queried by the HMRC following suggestions that they have been enjoying a ‘disguised salary’ status. Trouble is, official guidelines on how to deal with the issue have been woolly at best. Read ‘Tax Code Breakers’, our investigation into  how firms are coping with the headache, below.

Beware the bean counters


EY has hired BLP’s former finance head to launch a financial services legal team. It follows the hire of an Addleshaws partner to kickstart a corporate practice and existing investment in Asia and an application for an ABS. Could EY be a force to be reckoned with in the legal market?

Dear Leaders


Our weekly leadership interview regularly has among the highest views on our site. And no wonder; with profiles of the managing partners at top firms such as Olswang, DWF, RPC, Taylor Wessing and DLA Piper, you can get an inside track on what’s going on in private practice.

Barring mishaps


We’ve had the silks round, but there other long-running themes emerging from our coverage of the bar. They include commercial court costs and criminal barristers’ struggle with the Ministry of Justice. Below is a selection of reports highlighting the current issues.

Promotion motion


It’s that time of year when private practice firms announce their partner promotions. Who got lucky this year, and which sectors are firms investing in? See our reports below for just a sample of the promos that have happened already this season.

Top counsel


From energy to telecoms, theatre to the internet business, The Lawyer interviews top in-house lawyers from diverse sectors and geographies every week. See our profiles below for a real insight into what the clients think.

Here come the oligarchs


It’s not quite caught the public imagination in the way that the Berezovsky-Abramovich battle did, but the Ablyazov litigation is just as ferocious and has similarly high states. Next stop, the Supreme Court.

The colour is red


The news that Jun He is in merger talks with Zhong Lun could mean a shake-up of the red circle, as the group of elite Chinese legal practices is known. As our reports over the last year make clear, Zhong Lun has been making ambitious moves for some time.

The kings of Africa


Africa is routinely touted as the next promised land for law firms looking to develop their global business. But which local firms should you instruct? Our Africa Elite - the first survey of its kind - will give you all the insight you need.

The US middle men


The mid-market is not just undergoing consolidation in the UK. Outside the Wall Street elite, merger talks between national firms are becoming common currency. Just look at the merry-go-round with Dentons, Squire Sanders, Patton Boggs and McKenna Long & Aldridge.

Debts and doubters


For years, the legal profession was risk-averse. It meant that law firms rarely had recourse to bank debt, preferring to rely on partner capital. But as our exclusive survey makes clear, more than two-thirds of LLPs in the UK200 are now making use of debt as a management tool. Exactly how risky is it?

Student life


The Lawyer’s sister title Lawyer 2B is the place to find out all news and analysis about graduate recruitment, legal education, trainee retention and career development. If you’re a student, then bookmark immediately for everything you need to know about becoming a lawyer.

Financial highlights


Want to know the latest legal developments in banking and finance from all over the globe? Head over to our briefings section of the website and get yourself up to speed courtesy of DLA Piper, Arendt & Medernach, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Ogier and Schoenherr

Energetic in-housers


There’s no doubt that energy specialists are in demand, and energy clients are the hottest in town. So when the likes of BP do a panel review, law firms scramble

Combination crazy


The mania for mergers is not dying down, either at home or abroad. Such is the flood of them, it can be difficult to keep up. Refresh your memory by checking out our special Merger Watch section of the site

Managing the management


The first Lawyer Management awards and conference last year was a resounding success. It’s part of our dedicated strand on law firm operational functions – also known as the people who help lawyers do their client work. If you’re senior in HR, IT, finance, facilities or BD, then this is the place for you

Constructing a response


Our enormous briefings library is the best place to go to if you want up-to-the-minute summaries of latest legal developments. Here are some of the latest, from Mills & Reeve, Shoosmiths, NCTM, DLA Piper and Nabarro

Cat Griffiths index

Winning women over


All law firms are now taking diversity seriously, but the gender imbalance just won’t go away. Pinsent Masons and Herbert Smith Freehills are the latest firms to target greater female representation at senior levels. But are women simply voting with their feet?

Singapore shuffle


Singapore is a hot destination for many international firms now, but what do the independent practices think? In an interview with The Lawyer Rajah & Tann’s managing partner Lee Eng Beng is insistent that staying local is the only way to go

Authority figures


Public sector lawyers have a lot to put up with. First savage budget cuts, and now outsourcing giants like Capita are circling. But a few local authority legal teams are starting to fight back. Find out how by reading the stories below

Silky skills


Who is the greatest silk of them all? You wouldn’t be far wrong if you said it was Dinah Rose QC. The Lawyer’s research shows that she’s the lawyers’ favourite for Supreme Court cases. Is Rose the new Sumption?

Winning women over


All law firms are now taking diversity seriously, but the gender imbalance just won’t go away. Pinsent Masons and Herbert Smith Freehills are the latest firms to target greater female representation at senior levels. But are women simply voting with their feet?

Listing the listings


Over the last few months the IPO market has really started to come back, whether in the US, London or Hong Kong. Good news, then, for Freshfields, DLAPiper, Davis Polk, Ashurst and Simpson Thacher, to name just a few of the firms scooping listing work

Especially for in-house


Our treasure trove of briefings from law firms includes a host of practical tips aimed at in-house lawyers. From employment and cyber security to cloud computing and why e-discovery matters, our in-house readers will find plenty to chew over

M&A mayhem


How do you find out what deals your competitors are advising on? By checking out our regular deals round-up, that’s how. With corporate work on the up, there’s plenty to discover

One for the Lusophiles


Despite a rocky domestic market, Portuguese firms are spreading their wings internationally. Mozambique and Angola have long been areas of interest for historical reasons, but there have also been forays into Cameroon and East Timor

Let's talk about tax


The Lawyer now has thousands of legal briefings online, and they’re being added to daily. Today we’re shining a the spotlight on Wragges, Nabarro, DLA Piper, Pillsbury and Chevalier & Sciales, which have all published their latest thoughts on tax developments

Managing partner interview


Every week online The Lawyer runs an interview with a managing partner. The interviews now regularly make our top ten most-read stories. Find out all about the men and women in key leadership roles in private practice

Licensing laws


Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case have successfully renewed their Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences in Singapore, but Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has decided not to re-apply. Find out more below

Revamping at the top


There’s a new generation at Slaughter and May, which has two new practice heads in Andy Ryde and Andrew McLean, who are replacing Frances Murphy and Paul Stacey. The elite firm is quietly reshaping itself

Desert storms


The opportunities in Saudi are rich and varied for Western law firms. But they have historically been dependent on a volatile local market of sponsors in order to operate there. This week’s in-depth feature examines the pitfalls of opening an office in the desert kingdom – and keeping it open

Dollar bills


The financial reporting season for US firms is well underway. Already there are significant variations across firms. What’s clear is that this is not going to be a vintage year. Steady as she goes…

Offshore gains


Our annual survey of the top 30 offshore firms across the globe is required reading for anyone looking to refer work in that market. You can compare the growth of the top firms over the course of several years, and for more news and analysis go to our dedicated offshore section of the

Australian action


The larger Australian firms have been striking out across the globe. But mid-tier firms have been busy too, and there’s a quiet wave of consolidation happening down under

Energy reserves


Our briefings section is rich in content. Take energy, for example; there’s plenty going on in this dynamic sector, so check out the latest papers from Mills & Reeve, Stephenson Harwood, Taylor Wessing, Walker Morris and Wragge & Co

Taxing rules


HMRC’s rules on partnership taxation have thrown many law firms into a flurry of activity. Since January, capital calls have become common and many junior partners have changed their status in order to comply with the new regulations

Dollar bills


The financial reporting season for US firms is well underway. Already there are significant variations across firms. What’s clear is that this is not going to be a vintage year. Steady as she goes…

Making the cut


Being appointed a QC is the pinnacle of many barristers’ careers. There are 100 new silks this year and five of them are solicitors. That number may be creeping up, but female representation has not

Seoul food


Bird & Bird’s launch in Korea through a non-exclusive tie-up with Hwang Mok Park underlines continuing interest from UK firms in the jurisdiction. There are 20 international firms in Seoul already, but so far only four – Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters – have boots on the ground.

Stirring Irwin


Irwin Mitchell isn’t standing still. Along with its keen competitor Slater & Gordon, it has become one of the most acquisitive firms in the market. This month it opened its ninth office in the UK, in Southampton. Where all be the tenth?

Taking care


The Guardian Care Home case, which centred on allegations that the Libor benchmark interest rate was manipulated, was one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2013. However, Barclays has levelled a series of challenges to the process and it has rumbled on into 2014. Catch up on the ins and outs here.

Job Watch


Job mobility in the associate market is still high, particularly if you’re prepared to move for that promotion. You can find what’s being advertised on our job site, but check out our articles on current trends within sectors for the inside track.

Merger watching


A month and a half into 2014 and mergers are still top of the news agenda. FFW has bolted on Heatons, while the latest LLP results are telling an interesting tale about different firm combinations. Which is the fairest of them all?

In-house meal deals


The joys of working in-house are many, but what’s it like being surrounded by biscuits, crisps and ice cream as part of the job? Find out below as we interview in-house lawyers from companies that make eating their business

Behind The Law


The Lawyer has augmented its comment and analysis online with daily columns on market developments. Over the last week or so we have examined Cooley, A&O’s US ambitions, Mandela’s lawyer and the new boss of DLA Piper. Keep logging on for more of the inside track

Canada waters


The collapse of Heenan Blaikie took many in the North American market by surprise. DLA Piper may have pulled out of acquiring the rump of the firm, but Canada remains a key part of Norton Rose and Clyde & Co’s global strategy

West Coast winners


Can you even remember a world without Facebook and Twitter? The phenomenon of social media has presented lawyers across the world with plenty of thorny legal issues, but having the big tech giants as clients is a gift that keeps on giving. And an in-house job there is right on the cutting edge

Boom town


Kazakhstan keeps attracting international interest, so it’s inevitable that a host of law firms have opened up in the Central Asia powerhouse. In the last few months, Reed Smith, White & Case, Dentons and Kinstellar have all invested there.

Deals Insider


Every Monday The Lawyer sends a weekly round-up of deals and trend analysis to your inbox. Is it all about energy? What’s happening in real estate M&A? And what is private equity up to?

Onward and upward


Which international general counsel have got new jobs? And what does it mean for nervous private practice lawyers? Do your prep by reading our latest stories

Panel room


The Lawyer is consistently first with the news on panel reviews, from sectors as varied as energy, financial services, entertainment and government. Get up to speed on the latest panel news below

Lawyer 2B most wanted


Our sister publication Lawyer 2B holds a host of content for anyone wanting to get into the legal profession. This includes all the latest stories that affect law students and trainees. Here’s a selection of the most popular over the last couple of weeks

Bottom lines


The season of LLP accounts is still with us. As these stories show, private practice law firms are recording variable results. You can also search on our financial management page to find out more

Cyber insecurity


Cyber security is top of the anxiety list for many general counsel. How can you proactively manage that risk? It’s an issue The Lawyer has focused hard on over the last few months. Find out the latest thinking below

The riches of Wragges


Wragges has bitten the bullet. It is ditching its cherished all-equity model in order to accommodate the merger with Lawrence Graham. That is some cultural shift.

The charm of Turkey


Turkey continues to be a hot jurisdiction for inward investment. No wonder lawyers are so interested in finding out about the local market. Get yourself up to speed by reading our coverage of Turkish developments over the last few months.

Retention tension


Predictions that the trainee model is bust are belied by this season’s retention rates. So far Ashurst, BLP, Nabarro and Olswang have kept on the vast majority of their trainees. A leap of faith, or a solid business decision?

Taxing times for partnerships


HMRC’s new partnership tax rules are creating headaches for law firms. Some, such as Trowers and Kennedys, have already moved to put plans in place, but many are still dithering. Salaried and fixed-share partners will want to read our articles very closely; the deadline is looming.

Banking on panel reviews


So Citibank has finally decided on its external advisers, several months after the panel process began. Read our stories on the other bank panels over the last year, including RBS and Barclays. Put it this way: the banks aren’t being particularly radical.

Costs headache for Clifford Chance


The $1.6bn claim brought by Clifford Chance client Excalibur Ventures against Texas Keystone and Gulf Keystone was one of the biggest of 2012/13. When Mr Justice Clarke threw out the case in September he set in motion a series of battles over costs, exposing a number of criticisms levelled at the claimant firm and its client.

Hot 100: when one person makes a difference


Today’s focus on the 2014 Hot 100 highlights lawyers in sectors where individual brilliance really counts: family, the bar, IP/commercial, and management. And let’s not forget the campaigners – the lawyers working in the beleaguered legal aid sector.



Peter Rees’s sudden departure from Shell took everyone by surprise. Rees joined the Anglo-Dutch oil giant from Debevoise in January 2011 and during his time reorganised the legal function, bringing a vast amount of litigation in-house. The company has chopped its external global legal spend by 61 per cent in five years.

The big beasts of the Hot 100


It’s Hot 100 week. Yesterday The Lawyer revealed our 2014 stars, who will be feted at a party at the Royal Exchange tonight. Click our links below to find out who has been honoured in the fields of litigation, finance, corporate, real estate and projects – plus our meatiest category of in-house lawyers.

Law for non-lawyers


On Thursday The Lawyer’s student publication Lawyer 2B is holding an unmissable event at the University of Law in London, targeted at non-law students who are considering the conversion course. You can sign up at – and read around the topic in the meantime.

Keeping it in-house


Over the last few years the balance of power between in-house and private practice has shifted and the need for outside advice has changed substantially. The news this week that Balfour Beatty has done the legal work on the £154m transformation of the Olympic stadium itself merely confirms that the change is for good.

2014: the year of ABSs?


The popularity of alternative business structures continues to rise, with two more top-50 firms gaining licences just before Christmas. Now Buckinghamshire County Council and fire service are joining the ABS rush. Expect plenty more in the coming year.

Sun is shining in Berlin for MoFo


First we heard that Hogan Lovells’ Berlin office had left for MoFo. Then we heard that the team left after a falling-out with HL management when a partner had criticised a firm client. No wonder MoFo Germany is now celebrating winning a major mandate for Axel Springer.

Brave hearts never won fair merger


Simpson Marwick and Kennedys entered merger talks early in the year. But it was a rocky road. First the completion date was postponed, and now both firms have announced the deal is off.

Quentin pulls it off


Wragge & Co has signed a merger (or should that be takeover?) deal with Lawrence Graham. The new entity’s name is a bit of a mouthful: Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co. How long before we all revert to Wragges?

Hogan Love-in


Hogan Lovells joint CEOs Warren Gorrell and David Harris are stepping down in June 2014. The firm has not opted for the post-merger dual headship but has nominated US litigator Steve Immelt as sole leader. Is it a US power shift?

Brimming with energy


Powerful, controversial, fascinating: the energy sector is constantly evolving. Barely a week goes by without energy companies hitting the headlines; catch up on some of the legal angles by clicking on the links below.

Latest News

Clifford Chance CC

Clifford Chance scraps leadership elections in radical partnership overhaul

25-Jul-2014 | By Kate Beioley

Clifford Chance has overhauled its constitution in order to scrap all leadership elections and replace them with appointment by managing partner Matthew Layton.


Industrial disease firm Roberts Jackson receives £15m private equity injection

25-Jul-2014 | By Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Cheshire-based industrial disease specialists Roberts Jackson has received a £15m cash injection from private equity firm NorthEdge Capital.

20th Century Fox

Wragges' Glee over Twentieth Century Fox High Court win

25-Jul-2014 | By Katy Dowell

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co has won a David and Goliath legal battle for comedy club operators Comic Enterprises against Twentieth Century Fox.  

Collyer Bristow posts turnover of £14.9m after adding five partners in 2013/14

25-Jul-2014 | By Richard Simmons

Collyer Bristow has recorded turnover of £14.9m for 2013/14, an increase of 2.5 per cent.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance votes to rejig and reduce management committee

24-Jul-2014 | By Kate Beioley

Clifford Chance has cut its practice group representation on its management committee from six to three in a comprehensive overhaul.

More from Latest News


Cat Griffiths index

Outflanked in this War of the Roses

21-Jul-2014 | By Catrin Griffiths

A few weeks ago I asked why Leeds seemed to have fallen off the pace compared to other regional cities’ legal offerings.

Matt Byrne

UK firms look to grow on home soil

14-Jul-2014 | By Matt Byrne

These days it’s all about global growth. Right? Not according to our feature today.

More from Leader

Lawyer News Daily

Ropes changes as Edwards Wildman is Rammed


They are two of the biggest beasts in the legal jungle, and historically a story about Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz - the dynamic duo with the elephantine reputation who quit Freshfields a year after quitting White & Case ...

Slaughters’ Asia ambitions heats up


Which firms spring to mind as having particularly dynamic strategies in Asia? Perhaps King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin? Or Herbert Smith Freehills?

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