12 December 2016

2016 in Review: Heroes, villains and a lot of money

There’s two more weeks of 2016 and, if the rest of this year is anything to go by, anything could happen. Who, for example, could have predicted Olswang and Nabarro would merge with CMS Cameron McKenna? (Well, we did – 24 hours before those firms decided to tell their partners). The Panama Papers scandal had law firm bosses furiously scanning 20 years’ of emails for the words “Mossack Fonseca”, while the Volkswagen emissions scandal was a happier story for lawyers (except VW’s in-house team, that is). And that’s before we’ve even mentioned Brexit and Donald Trump.

Catrin Griffiths

You think law firms will escape the populists? Think again

“People in this country,” pronounced Michael Gove this year, “have had enough of experts.” And therein lay the leitmotif of 2016, a year in which we learned to embrace the unexpected and the irrational. Both were contained in the quote by Gove, a man who ran the UK education and justice departments for years, and who might therefore have been expected to prize knowledge and its uses. His politically expedient decision to attack experts should serve as a warning to lawyers and firms.

money cash

How to improve your financial management

Effective financial management is typically all about constant focus and incremental change. Throughout this year’s The Lawyer UK 200: Financial Management report you will find ­numerous examples of where and how firms have achieved changes to debt levels or lock-up (the ­combination of work-in-progress (WIP) and debtor days). Even though on the face of it these changes may look slight, ultimately they can have a very significant impact.