It hasn’t been the best year for the legal profession, as you can see in this issue.
But there have been a few highlights to remember.
Pantomime villains of the year: Vinay Veneik; Beresfords; Melvyn Weiss (Milberg Weiss).
Most right-wing magic circle firm: Allen & Overy, the one to donate the most money to the Republicans.
Best shindig: Blackstone’s garden party; Lovells’ poker evening; Nabarro at Sketch; the FoxMandal party with the huge snakes; 39 Essex St’s Bollywood night.
Most industrious shoehorning of Downing Street connections: Clifford Chance’s constant mentions of Stuart Popham’s trip to China with Gordon Brown.
Most misplaced bit of PC: Herbert Smith’s integration course for Indian associates.
The phrase we haven’t heard much of recently: Work-life balance.
The phrase we’ve heard too much of recently: Flight to quality.
The fiddle-while-Rome-burns award: White & Case management.
Feuds of the year: Withers v Forsters; Nixon Peabody v Taylor Wessing; sponsor v lender lawyers on debt buybacks; Ian Rosenblatt v opera star Erwin Schrott; DLA v Kennedys; former Hammonds partners v Hammonds; Paul Dacre v Eady J.
Walkouts of the year: Allen and Goetz from White & Case; Audley and co from Faegre & Benson; Pierre Tercier from the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration; O’Melveny partners from London.
Management muscularity trophy: Eversheds red-carding its partners; Clifford Chance putting a stop to taxis and its obsession with offshoring to India.
Firms wanting a better 2009: Bevan Brittan; Cadwalader; Halliwells; Hammonds (again); Howard Kennedy.
Stories we wished were true: Eversheds’ sheep on the roof; A&O and Shearman; Norton Rose and Garrigues.
Reprimand of the year: Peter Smith J for his non-recusal.
Scottish law firms telling us they’re not actually Scottish: Dundas; Maclays; McGrigors; Shepherd and Wedderburn.
Worst law firm art: Addleshaws’ Kray twins picture.
Busiest lawyers in 2009: Divorce specialists.
We’re back in print on 5 January, but TheLawyer.com will be publishing throughout the holiday period.