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White & Case’s entire global network is being scrutinised by management consultants ;McKinsey & Company as part of a worldwide strategic review of the firm’s business.
Chairman Hugh Verrier called in McKinsey to help shape the future direction of White & Case following a period of huge unrest at the London office that resulted in the defection of London banking stars Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (The Lawyer, 11 March).
An inside source said: “We’re a significantly large firm and I think at times you forget to look at the bigger picture. When it’s completed the review will recommend which jurisdictions and practice areas we should be investing into. “We’ve recently changed our management, and this change is a good opportunity to revisit our plan for the future.”
Together with his three-strong executive committee, Verrier, who became chair in August 2007, had come under fire for a number of reasons – including the failure to appoint a London representative to the global committee.
One of London’s biggest issues was with the New York management’s failure to recognise growth opportunities in Asia and Russia. It is hoped the McKinsey report will address this.
A spokesman for White & Case said: “We brought them in this past spring to conduct a review of the firm’s market opportunities and investment priorities. Since then McKinsey has been gathering information and views by speaking to partners around the globe, including in New York and London.”