Amid the clamour for work-life balance, law firms are responding with a series of flexible working policies that allow more people to work from home. And of course, with rents a major part of firms’ expenditure, it helps take the pressure off space requirements too. Will it soon become the norm?
Every week The Lawyer runs an interview with law firm leaders that goes behind the headlines to probe law firm strategy and uncover operational priorities. It’s become one of our most-read sections. Catch up on some of our most popular interviews below. How do your leaders measure up?
Gateley’s move to float on AIM earlier this year intrigued the market. It was certainly an unexpected move; most had tipped Irwin Mitchell to be the first commercial law firm to seek a stock market listing. But as our detailed analysis shows, the deal is less radical than on first sight.
The UK’s property market is overheating, particularly in Central London. With ever more law firms moving into the City, how can they make good use of the space available? And which firms are being the most creative?
The Lawyer’s first salary survey, in partnership with Kinsella Legal, covers lawyer’s pay, base salaries, bonuses, benefits and pay satisfaction. As well as their wider career satisfaction and aspirations, we’ve unearthed eye-opening information about the effects on earnings of location, sector, experience and gender.
With even more budget cuts set to fall on local authority legal teams, innovation and creativity are at a premium if councils want to continue to deliver services. Luckily for the general public, local authority lawyers are stepping up to the challenge with wholesale reinvention – and look set to challenge private practice for key mandates.
Everyone thought Irwin Mitchell would be doing it soon, but it looks as if Gateley will beat the national firm to the punch. Gateley is actively preparing an IPO. It’s notable not least because Gateley – unlike Irwin Mitchell and Slater & Gordon, the Aussie-listed company that took over RJW three years ago – is not a personal injury outfit. Will Gateley genuinely be the pathfinder for commercial law firms?
The magic circle is often seen as a homogenous group of firms, but our analysis of their global investments throws up considerable differences. A&O and Clifford Chance have opened a series of offices, Linklaters has preferred alliances and Freshfields has barely extended its reach in a decade. It’s no longer one size fits all.
Michael Gove is a controversial but heavyweight politician. David Cameron’s decision to put him in charge of the Ministry of Justice shows that he needs a big beast in order to weather the storms over the potential scrapping of the Human Rights Act. Will Gove be a bogeyman for lawyers as much as he is for teachers?
Mergers have been a staple of the legal landscape over the past few years as the market continues to consolidate. Nevertheless, the rate of combinations has declined in the last six months. In our analysis, we ask whether there has been a return on partner investment.
When SJ Berwin agreed to combine with - or be taken over by KWM, it became a target for headhunters. Many corporate departures later, the firm is hiring aggressively in real estate, taking a number of partners from Eversheds. Will there be more to come?
Russia is becoming increasingly problematic for Western firms. Despite the fact that English law is popular, the imposition of sanctions on the country is having a clear effect on business activity. UK and US practices are quietly downsizing, while local firms are consolidating – and beginning to hire English-qualified lawyers.
The senior partner race at Freshfields will be fascinating to watch. The magic circle firm is widely recognised to be the only UK outfit to have built a credible top-level US presence, but with increasing competition among the global elite, the new senior partner will need to be an effective ambassador.
Spring brings welcome news for some. Across the UK, it’s partner promotion season. National firms are adding plenty to their partnerships, but magic circle firms are being more circumspect. At Freshfields, for example, only three made the grade in London out of 17 worldwide
The Lawyer’s Briefings section hosts thousands of papers from law firms on the latest legal developments, all free to download. Last week many of them responded to the Budget. Here’s a selection, ranging from digital currencies to oil and gas. For more, sign up to our weekly Briefings email
April 2014 marked the beginning of a new era for UK’s competition lawyers, with the establishment of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). And the CMA is already having an effect, say private practice lawyers, who claim that recent changes have slowed the merger process. For more insight into the way the CMA is changing the legal landscape, see our articles below
The SRA is planning to withdraw from the Graduate Recruitment Code, which prevents law firms offering students training contracts before their final year of university. The move has provoked concern in many quarters, particularly for its diversity implications. Is this liberalisation going too far?
The efficient use of a firm’s real estate is fast becoming one of the most pertinent issues as the market gets to grips with rapidly changing working environments. What is certain is that for the majority of firms property is still one of their biggest costs. Which is why for the past three years The Lawyer, exclusively, has been collecting attributed real estate data as part of the research for the annual UK 200 report. As our in-depth analysis reveals, despite a growing momentum ...
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Linklaters achieves top law firm ranking in Superbrands index
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Co-operative Bank has launched its first legal panel since its split from parent company the Co-Op Group in 2013, appointing 11 firms to the roster.
Olswang partner Fabrizio Carpanini is set to join US outfit Dorsey & Whitney to launch the firm’s private equity practice in London.
Baker Botts has undergone its biggest expansion in China since 2007 by hiring three energy partners from Jones Day’s Hong Kong office.
Jenner & Block has hired White & Case partner Charlie Lightfoot as its first lateral hire in London after launching an office earlier this year.
Olswang has made two hires and two promotions to its senior management team, adding former Linklaters global head of shared services Kevin Bye as head of strategic development and EC Harris CFO Neil Morling as chief finance officer.
Today’s issue is our last of the summer. Three weeks of summer sun with nothing to do but soak up the rays. Possibly.
Wragges’ merger with Gowlings positions it for global expansion.
Lawyer News Daily
Kirkland & Ellis has turned to Linklaters to boost its Hong Kong offering with the hire of debt finance partner David Irvine. Irvine is the latest in a string of partners to leave Linklaters in Asia this year.
Cable & Wireless Communications general counsel Belinda Bradberry is gearing up to install the company’s first-ever legal panel, with growth in the business changing the way its legal function operates