Catrin Griffiths

Flexible working

16-Feb-2015 | By Catrin Griffiths

The trend for working flexibly is gathering significant pace and as this week’s analysis of Allen & Overy’s Peerpoint reveals, for some firms it’s also a way into new markets domestically and internationally. For years lawyers who worked part time or flexibly were derided in some quarters as second rate. Now, with rapidly growing number of lawyers working flexibly and impressive turnover increases at various offerings, it looks like an idea whose time has come.

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Brand management


Building a law firm brand is a complex business. It involves everything from culture, client service, operational efficiency, ethical values – and then communicating that whole package to the outside world. As our recent analysis shows, tailoring that message to Generation Y, firms’ future trainees, presents even more challenges.

East meeting West, again


The combination of US-European Dentons with China’s Dacheng will create the world’s biggest law firm. On paper, that’s a lot of global reach – as long as integration issues are tackled. For more on Dacheng and a close analysis of Chinese firms, check out our China Elite.

The West Coast comes to London


The launch of Cooley’s UK office has been rumoured for months. Last week The Lawyer broke the news that the West Coast tech firm – whose clients include Facebook and LinkedIn – had finally inked the deal on its London launch. It is starting up with 55 lawyers drawn from MoFo and Edwards Wildman. Nothing like beginning with a bang.

Professional claims


The Lawyer will shortly be unveiling its top 20 cases to look out for in 2015. How many of them will be professional negligence claims? Many of 2014’s biggest claims settled, but not all; current cases involving Mishcon and Bird & Bird are still active.

Latest cases: what you need to know


Keep up to speed with the latest cases by checking out The Lawyer’s Briefings section online. It’s an unparalleled resource; below is just a selection of recent papers by law firms putting the latest decisions into context.

Busy litigators


There’s no slacking off for litigators in the run-up to Christmas. From divorce to insolvency and investigations, contentious practices have been firing on all cylinders. See below for a selection of our litigation coverage – and keep logging on to the site to hear the latest litigation news.

Doing business in the Arab world


How do you best access the Arab market? It’s a lucrative world out there, but you’ll need to understand the cultural nuances. The Lawyer’s guide to doing business in the Arab world provides key insight on the region, and includes research on the leading independent firms in the Middle East and North Africa.

Big data, big problems


The rise of big data has created some logistical headaches for lawyers, who are often unversed in the intricacies of computer forensics. A recent survey by The Lawyer Research Service and Grant Thornton underlined this knowledge gap. Get up to speed on the issue by clicking on the links below.

Probing questions


Regulatory and investigation work has become the backbone of many City firms’ litigation practices. As the stories below demonstrate, the high-profile mandates involving the high street banks are largely being dominated by a handful of law firms.

Tales from the top


The Lawyer’s weekly leadership interviews have become a fixture among readers; you’re accessing them in droves. Catch up with the movers and shakers in private practice every Friday, and remind yourself of their thinking by clicking on to our most recent interviews below.

A feast of data


The Lawyer UK 200 is now out. It’s the most comprehensive and influential report on the financial health of the UK legal market. Take a peek at some of our round-ups below. Follow the links to buy the full research, and don’t miss out.

In and around the house


What should aspiring general counsel know about getting the top job? A recent roundtable brought a number of in-house heads and deputy heads together to discuss preconceptions of the GC role. And as our other stories indicate, the GC jobs market is a very fluid one at the moment.

Gender dilemmas


Women make up over half the entrants into the legal profession, but nowhere near that proportion make it to partner. Do they need help from above, or should they look to themselves to build their own networks?

Brand magic


Linklaters achieves top law firm ranking in Superbrands index

Time well spent


Mishcon boss Kevin Gold attracted a lot of attention last week in our regular Leadership Interview when he declared that the firm’s lawyers could take as much holiday as they feel they need. It’s controversial and it’s certainly creative. But will it catch on?

Managing the managers


The 22 October the second annual The Lawyer Management conference will take place. With sessions on financial trends, knowledge management, HR, real estate strategy and risk, it’s a must-attend for managing partners and senior operations people in law firms. The future of the law is here.

Burgeoning Belfast


Belfast has become a magnet for international firms wanting to site their low-cost operations; think Herbert Smith, Allen & Overy and Baker &McKenzie. But it’s also become popular with firms wanting to expand their legal offerings. Pinsent Masons, Kennedys and most recently BLM have all merged with local firms.

The China Elite is here


When The Lawyer published the Asia Pac 150, 35 of the region’s top firms were Chinese. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the PRC legal market. This week we publish the most detailed research available on Chinese firms: their financial performance, growth and international strategy and the particular challenges that each of them faces. Click the links below to download it and the Asia Pacific research.

So it's a No


Scotland has decided to stay in the United Kingdom, but the Downing Street declaration, in which David Cameron has pledged more devolution across the UK. The questions raised by the independence debate will keep constitutional lawyers busy for years.

A big yes, or a big no?


As the Scottish referendum campaign enters its final week, the debate is getting increasingly heated. While many lawyers are declining to go on the record, The Lawyer’s exclusive that a major Anglo-Scottish firm is shifting its cash to English accounts has caused waves. Read more about the Scottish reaction in our stories below.

An unbundle of joy


Not a week seems to go by without another firm revealing a low-cost centre, almost always to house document production and general support. This summer brought a whole host of announcements: if you blink, you might just miss them.

Feeding the deals


With corporate work well and truly firing again, M&A lawyers are basking in the sunlight. Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly Deals Insider email for the latest news on who’s acting for whom.

Space, the final frontier


Newly-weds Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham want to get even closer. Following the successful conclusion of their merger talks, they’re now after an office where they can really get to know each other. Just don’t bother offering them a Canary Wharf office.

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Litigation, litigation, litigation


The Lawyer’s bank of briefings has a wealth of up-to-the-minute information and analysis on legal developments, provided by top law firms across the world. Just check out the recent summaries on litigation, free to download.

Justice is blind


Clifford Chance, Macfarlanes and Mayer Brown are rolling out CV-blind recruitment policies to try and counter unconscious bias in favour of privately-educated applicants. Will it really make a difference? Why have so few firms followed suit?

Hot, hot, hot


Off on your hols? Flying somewhere warm? Impress the barman with your superb knowledge of the local legal market by reading up on our jurisdictional reports. You never know when it might come in useful.

North wind


Has Leeds lost its lustre? That’s the question we posed earlier this month, and trawled through much data to find out. Is the Yorkshire legal market losing out to its rivals across the Pennines?

PEP spray


The debate over profit per equity partner (PEP) as a financial metric never seems to go away. Earlier this year Dentons decided to stop disclosing global PEP to The American Lawyer, saying it was ‘meaningless’. For a British take on the issue, read what former Ashurst boss Charlie Geffen has to say.

Leaders of the pack


The Lawyer’s weekly leadership interview has proved very popular with readers. In our regular slot we find out the stories behind the figures, and what makes law firm managing partners tick.

Layton's first hundred days


Within just a few months of taking the helm at Clifford Chance, managing partner Matthew Layton is making his presence felt. His radical slim-down of the management layer will be watched closely by other magic circle firms.

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

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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…

Latest News


Nabarro delays annual pay review to 2014/15 financial year-end

27-Feb-2015 | By Becky Waller-Davies

Nabarro will delay its annual pay review for trainees, associates and business support staff until June, in an effort to more accurately assess its 2014/15 financial results.

Law Society

Law Society wins right to appeal against criminal legal aid ruling

27-Feb-2015 | By Joanne Harris

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has granted permission for the Law Society to challenge a recent High Court decision over Government reforms to the criminal legal aid regime.


Barclays appoints Gibson Dunn partner as Barclays Capital and Americas GC

27-Feb-2015 | By Joanne Harris

Barclays has announced the appointment of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner Mark Shelton as global general counsel for its investment banking division and regional general counsel for the Americas.

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Mishcon joins growing number of top 50 firms with ABS licence

27-Feb-2015 | By Joanne Harris

Mishcon de Reya has become the latest top 50 firm to gain an ABS licence, some six months after lodging its application with the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA).


Hogan Lovells secures Court of Appeal victory in 'Putin's banker' case

27-Feb-2015 | By Joanne Harris

Hogan Lovells and Erskine Chambers have secured a Court of Appeal (CoA) judgment requiring Russian tycoon Sergei Pugachev to disclose information about discretionary trusts established in New Zealand, setting a precedent in cases involving freezing orders.

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Matt Byrne

Addressing law’s need for change

23-Feb-2015 | By Matt Byrne

This week’s feature on Royal Mail offers a master class in cultural change.

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The Global Law Summit: Celebrate what’s great about UK law

16-Feb-2015 | By Matt Byrne

Next week one of the biggest legal market events of the year will roll into London. It should be good – it’s been 800 years in the making.

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“It takes time to convince people to leave their comfort zone”: Kirkland’s Jim Learner on how to hire in London


When Kirkland & Ellis’ London head Graham White quit the firm last October to join Fried Frank, there were a few names in the frame to succeed him. Former London chief Jim Learner was not one of them.

Boris Johnson: Lawyers are amazing. Here’s why


Boris Johnson put London and the rule of law squarely at the heart of the world’s legal market yesterday in his keynote speech at the Global Law Summit (GLS). While cracking jokes. Obviously.

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