Top 10 stories: 11-17 March 2016

A series of detailed analysis pieces looking at the major developments in the legal market dominated our top 10 stories list this week.

Top of the list was a focus on Kirkland & Ellis’s London strategy, which has seen it hire a raft of big-hitting partners in recent years. But with the firm recently experiencing a number of departures, we asked what has rocked the ship.

Meanwhile Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is looking at its plans for London in the wake of its decision to establish a shared services centre in Manchester. Open-plan could be a step too far for the traditionalist magic circle firm as it begins to consult on the future for its Fleet Street headquarters.

However Olswang is seriously looking at an open plan office. Last week it emerged that chief executive Paul Stevens is aiming for the firm to be fully open plan with agile working in London by 2017.

Linklaters was another magic circle firm in the news last week. The firm unveiled a raft of changes to its salaries and benefits in a bid to attract talent, but, as our long read showed, it has been losing talent in Asia.

The big breaking news story of the week was Wednesday’s late revelation that Berwin Leighton Paisner’s merger talks with US firm Greenberg Traurig had broken down. The two firms said they had not been able to find enough common ground to keep discussing the tie-up.

In-house, Barclays has completed the first phase of its new approach to panel reviews and is inviting firms to tender for phase two – although the process is not meeting with universal approval by advisers.

The top 10 list also included the news that former Freshfields litigation head and managing partner Ian Terry is retiring from the firm to join One Essex Court as a mediator later this year. Slaughter and May made up 10 partners in its annual promotions round, although only one was a woman.

Last week’s leadership interview with King & Wood Mallesons‘ management team also featured, as Stephen Kon and Stuart Fuller said the firm was in the process of stabilising after a torrid period of restructuring.