The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Unilever has overhauled its internal legal team, scrapping local general counsel in favour of a matrix reporting system for senior in-house lawyers.
The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate is also set to slash its legal bills after re-evaluating the way it works with outside counsel. The changes look set to benefit firms with extensive international networks.
Katrina Burchill, head of trademarks, said: "There will be an impact [on law firms] and there's a plan for that.
"A lot used to be based on local relationships. The trend for law firms now is to cover regions and go global; people are starting to look into that and see whether there are advantages. We'll look for efficiencies like any of the big companies."
The company has created two new legal roles. Regional counsel will cover broad geographic areas such as Asia and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while category counsel will be responsible for product lines such as skin creams or deodorants.
All counsel will report in to Paul Neely, director of legal affairs at Unilever, and lawyers will be able to have two roles simultaneously.
Burchill, for example, is both head of trademarks and category counsel for Unilever's skin product range, which includes brands such as Dove and Pond's.