Katy Dowell

Katy is The Lawyer’s Horizon editor. Returning to The Lawyer after a three-year break in 2020, Katy initially covered litigation and the Bar and was the publication’s senior writer between 2014 and 2017.

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Once more, with feeling: sort out your cash collection

A toxic combination of rising costs has put working capital levels under pressure. The gauge will rise as firms adjust to a new tax regime that prevents them from holding onto taxable profits generated by equity partners for almost two years. Traditionally that pot of cash yielded high interest rates and it could be put […]

Shares stocks

Listed firms are fading

Listed firms once claimed to be pioneering a new style of firm. But the four outfits currently in this misshapen gang (and former members DWF and Ince Group), have had their fair share of shakes and wobbles. They must satisfy two distinct audiences. On one hand there are equity partners, and on the other the […]

A litigator is not just for London

Law folklore dictates that any indication of a transactional slowdown will see a growth in contentious business. But despite economic fragility, partner hiring has favoured corporate and finance stars rather than litigators for much of 2023. The US firms are, as always, to blame for this. Indicative data from Atlas by Codex Edge shows that […]

US firms are real estate influencers

The elite US firms are reshaping the City landscape with their demands for climate-friendly Grade A space. Rents are rising too; a top floor at some of London’s newest buildings commands rents above £100 per sq ft – compare that with Glasgow where occupier adviser DeVono put prime rents at £36 per sq ft earlier […]

Talent recruitment

BCLP has to stop new talent going to waste

The exit door has barely stopped spinning at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP). This may have had the effect of lifting profitability for some of its UK practices, but talent retention is an area the firm can’t ignore. The most recent round of promotions is an opportunity to replenish partner stocks and shore up succession […]

Offices to let property sale

National firms are making estate agents very happy

The profit pressures laid bare by the 2022/23 financial year have done little to dampen mid-tier UK growth ambitions. There has been a wealth of new regional office openings in recent years including Browne Jacobson in Cardiff, TLT in Birmingham and Lewis Silkin in Leeds, while Freeths has big plans for Bristol. With a lower […]

Axiom Ince dawn raids show how the SRA has failed

“If every solicitor has to stump up £500 because of the Axiom Ince fiasco, then of course the SFO should get involved.” You read that correctly: the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is considering whether to charge a one-off £500 levy to all solicitors to meet the wave of claims expected to arise from the collapse of […]

Knights’ £11m rental conundrum

Remember when former Dragons’ Den entrepreneur James Caan caused a stir by pumping private equity investment into what was then a relatively unknown law firm? The year was 2012, and the unknown firm barely scraped into The Lawyer UK200 with revenues of £9.4m. At the latest year-end, it posted revenues of £142.8m. As a result […]

Associates’ loyalty is wearing thin

Even with current efforts to get people into the office, there can be no doubt that the pandemic upended working practice norms within the profession. One of the consequences of this is that for a growing number of associates, becoming a partner is not the career pinnacle it once was. Many simply don’t want to […]

London firms need more non-London leaders

For a growing number of firms, the route to profitable growth means becoming increasingly international. While law’s titans hunt for profits in the US, several mid-tier firms are busy bulking up across Europe, the Middle East and South-East Asia. This is particularly true for firms with a passion for private wealth lawyers where competition for […]

election vote

Management elections are an unwanted distraction

To stick or twist: that is the decision for many partners when it comes to choosing law firm leaders. Inside the UK Top 50, most are likely to want a new senior partner after two terms, but there are firms that prefer a bit of continuity in their executive. Kennedys’ senior partner Nick Thomas, for […]