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
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…
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 lawyer.com
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
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
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
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…
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
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.
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?
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 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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
Lawyer 2B is our channel dedicated to law students. Part of the content offering involves webcasts and events that are specifically designed to help students make the right choices. Make sure you know what the law involves: click on the links below.
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?
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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.
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?
First it was the Russians; now the Saudis are piling into the London courts. The High Court is gearing up to hear a series of allegations against two Saudi princes who are alleged to have funded Hezbollah by fraudulent means. These complex international cases are going to keep London litigators happy for some time to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.l2blawfornonlaw.co.uk – and read around the topic in the meantime.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
The run-up to Christmas is a classic time to reassess your career. Get some ideas by browsing through our regular Job Watch feature, where we interview recruiters on current trends and what employers are after.
Six law firms have been named by the London Stock Exchange as part of 1,000 inspiring British businesses. Take a bow, Bates Wells & Braithwaite, Berrymans Lace Mawer, Matthew Arnold & Baldwin, Stewarts Law, the London office of Edwards Wildman Palmer and Preston-based Fletchers Solicitors.
When Ashurst corporate head Stephen Lloyd resigned from the firm, insiders predicted that only one man could possibly replace him. That man is Simon Beddow, who has duly stepped up to the role and joins new chairman Ben Tidswell in the firm’s management.
Osborne Clarke is about to open another European base, this time in Amsterdam. It adds to its recent investments into its Paris and Brussels offices and confirms the trend that mid-sized UK law firms cannot afford to ignore the Continent.
With David Cameron’s visit to China last week, the PRC is even more in the spotlight for business. Here’s just a small selection of some of the biggest China stories of the last couple of months. For more of the latest Asia Pacific news, analysis and deals, then sign up to our weekly email.
Legendary advocate Sir Sydney Kentridge QC has now gone part-time at the age of 90. In the early part of his career in South Africa he was on the defence team representing Nelson Mandela in the 1958 treason trial. He later represented the Biko family of the inquest of the black consciousness leader.
Aside from the Jackson reforms, chambers outside London are bracing themselves for the impact of the cuts to legal aid funding. Those that have have a robust mixture of work are likely to withstand the changes, but sets that are dependent on high-volume and low-value work face uncertain times.
Some merger talks end happily; most barely get off the ground. The last 18 months have seen a number of serious discussions that didn’t make it over the finishing line. Were they doomed from the start?
Slater & Gordon is nothing but acquisitive. Since it took over Russell Jones & Walker in January 2012 it has marched through the UK PI and consumer services market. Catch up with some of its takeover targets below.
Plebgate has put the issue of cost budgeting right at the top of the agenda. Shame, then, that our survey of in-house lawyers uncovered their irritation at law firms’ inability to estimate litigation costs. For more on this, don’t miss our Global Litigation 50 report next week.
London just keeps on attracting US litigation firms hoping for a piece of the action, with Boies Schiller just the latest to arrive in the City. Is the market getting over-lawyered?
The ebbs and flows in global corporate work are unpredictable, but in our number crunching series of corporate deals data you can discern where the trends are. Click below to find out what’s happening in IPO and BRIC-related work.
The Jackson Reforms are beginning to bite. Several firms have offloaded their claims groups to larger players, as it becomes increasingly challenging to make personal injury work pay. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Battersea is where it’s at. The Nine Elms redevelopment will house the US and Dutch embassies and a swathe of apartments and shops. As such, any real estate department worth its salt has pitched for the work. Find out which firm has got what on the South London property bonanza.
The demise of Manches has highlighted the challenges faced by auditors in assessing the financial health of law firms across the UK market. Don’t miss our analysis this week, where we ask the leading auditors about what they look for in law firm accounts.
Ever since the Foreign Investment Law of 2012 Myanmar has become one of the most attractive jurisdictions in Asia from the point of view of international law firms. The biggest challenge, though, is to find decent office space in Yangon.
Bevan Brittan is forming a partnership with Harrow and Barnet Council to provide legal advice externally. It’s just the latest in a long line of innovative thinking among public sector lawyers that is transforming the way that legal services are delivered.
RPC has broken ranks with the rest of the City and has ditched a fixed salary to newly-qualified lawyers. Instead. NQs will be assessed on performance and will be remunerated within a broad pay band. Will other firms follow suit?
Wragges has been after a London merger for a long while. In 2009 it even drew up a list of potential targets. But is Lawrence Graham really the answer to the Birmingham firm’s City dreams?
Surely there’s never been a better time to be a recruiter of in-house lawyers; GC are coming thick and fast. For all the best in-house opportunities, don’t miss our jobs pages and sign up to our alerts. And for who’s moved where in the last couple of weeks, check out the links below.
If there’s one issue that is going to run and run for litigation lawyers it’s the cases coming out of the Libor scandal. Barclays and Deutsche failed last week in their attempt to get the Libor aspects dismissed in major financial misrepresentation claims against them. The City will be watching very closely.
How’s your year going so far, private practice? Some half-year figures are beginning to trickle out and so far the prognosis is definitely not gloomy. But then, these are the firms that are happy to talk about their figures..
Manches’s takeover by Penningtons was not your usual merger. It was a pre-pack deal hastened by a tax demand from HMRC. For the full inside track on the mess Manches got itself into - including how much money it was really losing - read our investigative piece, below.
A major law firm’s information security was breached earlier this year. A bank managed to fend off hackers. Adobe’s firewalls were attacked. Cyber security is one of the most crucial issues facing any business. Find out what the experts say below.
When Latvian professional indemnity insurer (PII) Balva went into liquidation, it sent shock waves through the profession. Then underwriter Berliner exited the market. The result? Hundreds of firms are scurrying to find cover. The situation looks grim.
Clyde & Co has launched in China’s third city, Chongqing. However, other firms have found it a harder task to bulk up as the Chinese market can be challenging. You can read about their testing times by clicking on the links below.
Judicial review has become an important way for citizens to hold the authorities to account. Over the last few weeks we’ve seen a rash of them; catch up here.
Shell’s legal team has been revamped by its global GC Peter Rees QC. In our exclusive interview, read what he’s done - and find out how litigation has been key to his plans. For more GC interviews, click on the links below.
SJ Berwin has tied the knot with King & Wood Mallesons and will shortly be losing the famed Berwin brand. What will the deal do to the London firm’s culture? View our exclusive video interview with senior partner Stephen Kon, below
The Lawyer UK200 has been published, and it’s bigger and better than ever before. Try our cut-down free version to get a glimpse of the interactive benchmarking tool, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the full, paid-for version, which includes a PDF report on each of the top 200 firms ranked
Gourmet burger chain Byron Hamburgers, advised by Freshfields and Travers Smith, was sold last week to private equity group Hutton Collins, advised by Dickson Minto. It’s all go in the restaurant world: to find out which lawyers have been gobbling up the deals, see our stories below.
King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin is eyeing Riyadh. But Saudi has traditionally been a very difficult place for Western law firms to operate. Can they learn from others’ experiences in the kingdom?
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the legal profession, and information security should be at the top of any lawyer’s agenda. This week The Lawyer publishes an edition dedicated to the issue of cyber security. Read what the security experts have to say about the vulnerability of law firms - and then do something about it.
Every week The Lawyer sends out a digest of all the latest in-house moves, jobs, panel reviews and profiles. Below is a selection of our most recent updates. For more in-house developments, bookmark the dedicated section for in-house lawyers on our website
Mayer Brown has had its fair share of departures in the last few years. However, the management insists that the London office is bouncing back, with laterals in the pipeline and mandates piling up. Read our interview with chairman Paul Theiss for his views.
Former Freshfields London head Tim Jones has just landed his dream job as general counsel at England Rugby 2015. He joins a number of other legal luminaries in the sport, the most prominent of whom is Karena Vleck, GC at the RFU. Vleck was in our Hot 100 earlier this year; check our our video interview with her below.
Slater & Gordon’s bid to take over the entire consumer services legal market looks to have hit delays, with talks with Pannone bedevilled by internal debate. Can the Anglo-Australian juggernaut swallow up the Manchester firm without too much fallout?
The Lawyer UK200 is out today, bigger and and better than ever. Packed within it is every conceivable metric, from cost per lawyer to revenue per square foot of property. You can buy access to the full product – which also includes detailed commentaries on all 200 firms’ financial strategies - by emailing email@example.com. In the meantime, try a taste of the free-to-air version where you can benchmark your firm on PEP, revenue and total lawyers.
Feeling peckish? Got a business lunch coming up in London but not sure where to go? Check our our regular The Lawyer Eats column for proper foodie recommendations. And if you’re in Paris, Hong Kong, New York or Sydney and you want to write about business restaurants, get in touch.
Law firm partnership elections are often docile affairs; just look at Mishcon, which recently re-elected Kevin Gold with no other candidates standing. The ousting of Charlie Geffen in the top slot at Ashurst will come as a shock to many: the new chairman is litigator Ben Tidswell.
Some good tidings: M&A lawyers are reporting a distinct uptick in the volume of deals. Click on the links below for the last few months’ round-up of corporate transactions, including deal of the month, partner of the month and associate of the month. To let us know your latest deals, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we reveal that two top Chinese firms, Jingtian & Gongcheng and Commerce & Finance, are being sued by international underwriters for their opinions on the controversial capital raising transactions of Sino-Forest in Canada. What are the professional indemnity and reputational implications of this lawsuit, and are Chinese firms geared up for them?
Former Paul Hastings partner and barrister Thomas O’Riordan has been suspended from practice after he was found to have falsified his CV. Could these claims not have been caught earlier by better due diligence? And is the disciplinary process fit for purpose?
Parting can be bittersweet. Sometimes it can just be bitter. FFW insists that its bid to hold Eduardo Ustaran to an 18-month notice period is an entirely amicable move, but we doubt they’re feeling the same way at Hogan Lovells, his eventual destination.
Professional indemnity insurance cover is a major overhead for any law firm, and many have got cheaper deals from unrated insurers. However, the collapse of several insurers has now made many firms scrabble around for cover. If they still haven’t got cover after 90 days they will have to close. The outlook is grim.
Living and working in Saudi is a challenge if you’re a woman. The Saudi authorities have just awarded a female lawyer the first ever licence to operate in the country, but as our series of investigations have shown, women still face enormous hurdles in the kingdom - and that’s the understatement of the year.
London increasingly attracts the US litigation outfits that are spotting strong opportunities in the capital. Quinn Emanuel has been the most visible so far, but plenty of others are scouting. The latest to land is Boies Schiller, which has just hired Natasha Harrison from Bingham McCutchen.
Pinsent Masons has just scooped the sole provider role for Eon just a couple of months after its success winning all of Balfour Beatty’s work. Eversheds has also had long experience of sole provider work, building on its experience with Du Pont and Tyco. But will this approach really take off with in-house lawyers?
This week is the official opening of the legal year, but at The Lawyer, the coverage of litigation never stops; check our litigation pages for reporting and analysis of the big issues in the world of dispute resolution. If you’d like to get this sent straight to your inbox, then you can sign up for our weekly email round-up. See below for a selection of recent comment blogs.
Freshfields CEO Ted Burke is stepping down from the firm in order to join a client. During his eight-year tenure the firm went through a bruising partnership restructure to emerge one of the fittest of the magic circle. For more on Burke’s career, read the links below.
China may be an economic superpower, but for the vast majority of Western law firms it’s a headache. Few of them make much money in the PRC. Will we see global law firms downsizing their China operations? Click the links below for unrivalled analysis of the issue from The Lawyer’s Asia editor Yun Kriegler.
Will the merger talks between Manches and Penningtons come to anything? Manches has had a turbulent couple of years, both culturally and financially. Penningtons, meanwhile, knows a thing or two about merger execution; it swallowed up Wedlake Saint and the rump of Lincoln’s Inn firm Dawsons in the same time period.
Aviva’s long-awaited panel review had half the City on tenterhooks. We reveal the story behind the process and how GC Monica Risam got what she wanted. Also adding value to their business was Standard Life GC Malcolm Wood, who not only emerged victorious from hard-fought litigation but managed to get a good deal on a CFA into the bargain. Canny stuff.
You’d expect the magic circle to come out top of any M&A rankings. But as our exclusive analysis of City firms’ corporate revenues reveals, it’s Clyde & Co that is the surprise star in this year’s figures table. Intrigued? We are, too.
The news that Freshfields and Herbert Smith have settled a £140m professional negligence dispute with London Underground Limited has deprived the world of seeing Justin Fenwick QC, Tony Grabiner QC and Tim Dutton QC in action on the biggest claim ever filed against a major law firm. Fight fans will be disappointed.
The gap between the commercial bar and the publicly-funded side of the profession has never been so wide. Several heads of chambers are warning of the increasingly unhealthy situation of the haves and the have-nots. Many chambers will need to respond robustly to ensure survival in an increasingly difficult environment.
Five years ago Lehman Brothers collapsed, causing a spiral of panic that created a worldwide slump. For the financial and legal world it’s been a long climb back - but have any lessons been learnt?
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is understood to be considering winding up its Hong Kong law practice, just three years after its launch in 2011.
CMS is launching its second Middle Eastern office in Oman following its September 2012 launch in Dubai.
Berwin Leighton Paisner has named two new department heads within its finance team following a string of exits from the firm.
Sports giant Nike sets out to be a trendsetter in the world of sport and fashion. In legal circles the global retailer, which generates global revenues of $25bn annually, is again helping to set new trends by choosing an alliance of independent firms to cover its European legal needs over a single international firm.
Dentons has unveiled a mass restructure for its UKMEA LLP following its 2013 tripartite merger, bringing its list of practice and sector groups under five new divisional heads.
Last week Paris firm August & Debouzy quit its six-year alliance with Nabarro, which leaves the London firm rather stranded in France.
Last month PwC Legal got an ABS licence, which will allow it to own its legal arm at last.
Lawyer News Daily
Baker & McKenzie did it first in 1981. Since then a further 21 international firms have set up shop in Saudi Arabia, the most recent being King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, which announced plans to open there in December.
For the second time this year, criminal courts across England and Wales emptied today as criminal barristers stage a full-day walkout in protest against the Government’s insistence on cuts to legal aid