The best alternatives…

In this issue you will find our 20th anniversary supplement to celebrate the growth of the UK legal profession over the last two decades. But in the meantime, ladies and gentlemen, we present The Lawyer’s Alternative Awards for 2007.

– Green award of the year: DLA Piper for flying in Al Gore to a Sheffield environment conference.

– Worst-handled merger talks: Orrick and Dewey; Watson Farley and Chadbourne.

– Most baffling management structure: Dewey & LeBoeuf and its ‘matrix’.

– Most shocking marketing gimmicks: BLP’s giant flip-flops; Bird & Bird‘s disintegrating towels; A&O’s handwarmers.

– The ‘what attracted you to the million-dollar job?’ award: Lord Goldsmith’s move to Debevoise.

– Doomed recruitment attempt: Linklaters‘ wooing of Weil’s Mike Francies; Mr Justice Smith’s discussions with Addleshaws.

– Disturbing aesthetics prize: the semi-clad youth with a badminton racket painting at Herbert Smith.

– Most vocal associates award: SJ Berwin for bonus structure revisions; Freshfields for better biscuits.

– The ‘they’d better be worth it’ prize: Weil’s newly-qualifieds, now on £90,000.

– Most non-diverse moment: A&O’s tapestry, rewoven because there were too many white men.

– Feuds of the year: BLP v CC; BLP v Herbies; Cobbetts v Wedlake Bell; Hammonds v ex-partners (still); FFW v former ally Buse Heberer; Lovells v Norton Rose softball teams; Bloxham v Freshfields; Simmons v Denton Wilde Sapte in the Middle East.

– Adolescent flounce of the year: Sullivan & Cromwell after it didn’t win at The Lawyer Awards.

– Questionable bonding award: the 80 A&O corporate partners forced to trek for hours in Spain.

– The stand by your man trophy: Freshfields and Barry O’Brien.

– The most distant memory: Cov-lite deals.

– Swiftest rearguard action: CC setting up an LGBT network after settling a sexual orientation claim; BAe’s decision to shake up its legal department after the SFO row.

– Most public dumping: BLP and US ally Kramer Levin; Linklaters and its Cologne office.

– Sign of the times award: Lovells turning its smoking area into a multifaith prayer room.

We’re back on 7 January. Merry Christmas.