Catrin 2012 150

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

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.

Catrin Griffiths

Arbitration nation

6-Apr-2014 | Updated: 7-Apr-2014

Ex-Freshfields star Jan Paulsson’s decision to form a boutique with partners from Shearman and Covington has shaken up the arbitration world. With Peter Rees turning up at 39 Essex Street, this is a sector that is seeing plenty of movement.

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.

Keeping an eye on the market


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.

Mighty minnows


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.

Ashurst's musical chairs


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.

Stamps on the passport


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.

China latest


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.

A truly great lawyer


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.

Litigating outside London


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.

The runaway brides


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's UK feast


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.

Costing it out


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.

Fighting the good fight


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?

Number crunching


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.

Getting personal on PI


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.

Real estate lawyers get busy


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.

Numbers and risk


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.

Myanmar beckons


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.

Public sector, radical thinking


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.

NQ salary busters


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?

From Wragges to riches?


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?

The GCs are all right


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.

Libor litigation looms


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.

Half-year blues


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..

The sorry end of Manches


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.

Feeling safe


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.

Fragile times


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's China dreams


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.

Reviewing those decisions


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.

In-house energy


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.

Bye Bye Berwin


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

A multitude of metrics


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 for access to the full, paid-for version, which includes a PDF report on each of the top 200 firms ranked

Fries with that?


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.

Latest News


Adrian Collins and John Joyce confirmed as Addleshaws' managing partner candidates

16-Apr-2014 | By Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Addleshaw Goddard has nominated partners Adrian Collins and John Joyce as the challengers to replace incumbent Paul Devitt in the firm’s forthcoming managing partner election.


Irwin Mitchell makes first strategic move since securing £60m funding with Cambridge launch

16-Apr-2014 | By Lucy Burton

Irwin Mitchell is due to open its ninth UK office in Cambridge less than a month after the firm secured a £60m funding facility from a trio of banks last month.

Stephen Miles

DWF hires Pinsents financial institutions head for CEO role

16-Apr-2014 | By Lucy Burton

DWF has raided Pinsent Masons for financial institutions head Stephen Miles as the firm gears up for growth across its commercial practice groups.

Supreme Court

Supreme Court to examine scope of solicitor's duty

16-Apr-2014 | By Kate Beioley

The Supreme Court is to examine the scope of a solicitor’s duty and whether they are legally required to warn clients about commercial risks.


HSF makes Aussie partner Ferraro global corporate chief in post-merger re-jig

15-Apr-2014 | By Natalie Stanton

Herbert Smith Freehills has shaken up its corporate leadership, appointing Melbourne-based Mike Ferraro as sole global corporate head.

More from Latest News


Cat Griffiths index

Hiring is the key to capital gains

14-Apr-2014 | By Catrin Griffiths

Until now ‘international’ has been a bit of a euphemism since historically the firms in our survey have always been American. This year, though, the terminology is correct

Cat Griffiths index

Borrowing your way to growth

7-Apr-2014 | By Catrin Griffiths

Today’s issue of The Lawyer is a first: we survey 153 LLP accounts taken from the list of firms in The Lawyer’s UK 200 to investigate debt levels within the UK’s leading legal practices.

More from Leader

Lawyer News Daily

DWF boosts momentum with Pinsents hire


There’s no doubt about it, DWF’s growth has been prolific in recent years. Its most recent data show that turnover was up by 57.5 per cent at the half-year point to £93.6m

The biggest firm in China just shook up its governance


China’s largest firm by headcount Dacheng has rethought its management structure following an election process that began in February

More from Lawyer News Daily