13 August 2012


Magic circle: doing the trick

International strategies pay off The magic circle showed a divided performance in the revenue tables for the 2011-12 financial year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters both poste broadly flat turnovers, while Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance saw ­single-figure rises. The explanation for this seems clear: Freshfields and Linklaters are both highly exposed to […]

Top 200 bulking up man

Weighting list

As team GB law firms bulk up for the global challenge, mergers have transformed this year’s rankings – with some surprising results There’s no doubt that mergers – and a revised methodology – have been the main contributors to the 18.4 per cent increase grossed by the top 100 UK-heritage firms. Last year the top […]


Vale of mid-tiers

City mid-tier firms face battle for business with regional players It is no secret that clients are putting pressure on legal advisers for greater value. A growing number of City firms are responding by opening low-cost regional offices. Simmons & Simmons’ decision to open in Bristol is the latest example. But now a reverse trend […]


Ex-Collyer Bristow partner Withey to join Rangers trial as defendant

A case being brought by the administrators of Rangers Football Club against Collyer Bristow has been delayed after former partner and ex-club company secretary Gary Withey applied to join proceedings as a defendant. Up to now Withey, who was instrumental in businessman Craig Whyte’s doomed takeover of the Scottish club, was not party to administrators […]

SJB chart


Firm hopes internal transparency will tighten lock-up SJ Berwin’s debtor days for the end of 2011-12 rose marginally compared with 2010-11, from 88 to 90, while work in progress (WIP) for the year-end dropped from 62 to 55. The firm’s financial management story is mixed, but it is trying. The firm rolled out a financial […]

fake logo

Name and lame

ABS heralds era of naff law firm titles Excluding a few early movers, the legal industry has mostly taken a wait-and-see approach to the alternative business structure (ABS) regime. However, although the system is barely off the ground The Lawyer has already spotted an alarming trend – one that indicates that the new era of […]

Top Mark

Howard Kennedy boss ticks modernising boxes – as recommended by The Lawyer When Mark Dembovsky walked into Howard Kennedy’s offices almost 18 months ago he had the critical words of this publication ringing in his ears. Fresh from a tongue-lashing by exiting partner Ursula Danagher over lack of transparency, communication and partner involvement, the firm […]

Paul Wilson

Regional: attempted merger

Alliances, failed and successful, are the story of the year outside London The impact of mergers on the turnover of regional firms is best highlighted by the growth of DWF and Weightmans in 2011-12. There has been the odd exception of more than modest organic growth, such as Browne Jacobson’s 17 per cent turnover increase, […]

Philip Leach

Bringing Russia to judgment

Russia must be brought back to court to account for gross human rights violations in Chechnya At a Council of Europe conference held in Brighton in April the 47 member states rightly identified the effective national implementation of human rights standards as their paramount goal. This appears to be a big challenge for a number of […]

Bill Drummond

Scotland: big four into two

Office launches and mergers as Scottish firms battle a flat market The last financial year was one of significant change for the Scottish practices in The Lawyer’s UK 200 listing, with one firm being taken out by merger while others sought to consolidate their positions through office launches. Meanwhile, further change came in the guise […]

Catrin Griffiths

The new Establishment

In an Olympics season where the world has become obsessed with competitive rankings, it’s fitting that this week we’re running a sneak preview of The Lawyer UK200 Annual Report. I In the full report, published next month, you’ll be able to see granular analyses of firms’ performances, but there’s so much material we have decided […]

Brian Salter

AMP GC: On the money

Brian Salter, general counsel at Australian financial services outfit AMP, took on the role just as the financial crisis hit and the company embarked on a huge, complex takeover Brian Salter, AMP Position: General counselIndustry: Financial services Reporting to: CEO Craig DunnTurnover: AMP does not report turnover, but reported a net profit of A$688m (£466m) […]

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