Top 10 stories: 8-14 January 2016

As has become the norm, the annual announcement of the lucky barristers – and a handful of solicitor-advocates – who have made silk topped our most-read stories list this week.

In total 104 barristers and three solicitor-advocates were awarded the coveted kitemark this year, up from 93 in 2015. However the number of women appointed stayed static at just 25.

In other litigation-related news, our report that White & Case had instructed Kennedys to defend it against a professional negligence claim related to a typo in a deal contract was the next-most popular story last week.

Over in the US, Slaughter and May and Sullivan & Cromwell are facing an investigation by the Department of Justice over claims the firms provided improper advice to Standard Chartered during an investigation into sanctions violations.

Meanwhile we revealed that Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) was the firm which had received the most litigation instructions from FTSE 100 companies in the past three years. Based on data from The Lawyer Market Intelligence, we revealed that HSF had appeared on 11 reported judgments for FTSE 100 claimants since January 2012.

Two of the top 10 stories last week neatly coincided. Consulting company Arden predicted that 75 per cent of the UK 200 will disappear in the next five years through consolidation – and in the same week, Matthew Arnold & Baldwin confirmed it would cease operations after raids by Dentons, Hill Dickinson and Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

With all the magic circle looking at remuneration, Tabby Kinder’s analysis of whether Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s decision to move partners to the second tier of its structure meant that lockstep is on its way out proved popular.

Our cover story, introducing the five young lawyers which we will be following as part of Project Millennial, was also a hit with readers last week.

Finally there was change at Pinsent Masons, with several departures from the firm’s contract lawyer service Vario including partner and co-founder Alison Bond; and Slaughters partners expressed their support for incoming senior partner Steve Cooke.