19 November 2012

Onwards and upwards

Herbies says merger is a boost for litigation, contrary to market murmurings Herbert Smith’s announcements that it was to merge with Australia’s Freehills and launch a litigation base in New York came in quick succession. One theory among market-watchers was that these two events represented a compromise: Herbies’ litigators would vote in favour of the […]


Who will rid us of the zombie firms?

Since the summer of 2011 there have been 19 mergers involving major UK firms. Not all have been visionary: our lengthy study of the most recent deals examined some of the more questionable dynamics (The Lawyer, 29 October). Last week was notable less for consolidation than for failed consummation. Field Fisher Waterhouse and Osborne Clarke […]


Structural decline

Structured finance could be heading for the scrapheap at elite firms There is no denying the magic circle has seen a falling off in its retention of structured finance and securitisation partners in the past year. Clifford Chance in particular has seen a string of partner exits, with Rachel Kelly kicking off the mini-trend last […]

Simon Beswick

Irreconcilable differences

Deep-seated disparities caused FFW-Osborne Clarke merger talks to fail Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) and Osborne Clarke have similarities and differences. The former is still more politically heated and divided than gentlemanly Osborne Clarke, despite FFW’s efforts in recent years, but their clientele would have complemented each other well, especially in corporate. News of the collapse […]

Friends reunite at Twitter

Google exodus as legal talent heads for microblogging supersite Twitter’s lawyers are linking up with old mates as the site continues to pluck legal talent from Google. The news – naturally announced via Twitter – that Google deputy general counsel Nicole Wong had joined Twitter as legal director last week rammed home the message that […]


Labour and relations

Maternity leave change will revolutionise the workplace Richard Fox, head of employment, Kingsley Napley When, on 13 November, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced changes to our system of maternity leave and flexible working, he ushered in a new working environment. By 2015 it will be for mothers and fathers to decide how they want […]


The Lawyer Management: Just Costs

Mark Beaumont is head of business development for the London office of Just Costs Solicitors. He is the initial point of contact for business across southern England having joined the firm’s City base in early 2009 from his own company, ExecSearch. How has your role changed during your time at the firm? When I joined, […]


Moves: 19 November 2012

Davis Polk & Wardwell has continued its English-law hiring spree by snaring a corporate partner from Herbert Smith Freehills. Move of the week Corporate partner Will Pearce has resigned from Herbert Smith Freehills and is set to join Davis Polk’s burgeoning English law practice in London. Davis Polk launched its English law practice in January […]


Last-mover advantage

Going your own way can pay off big time – just ask The Lawyer’s European Firm of the Year, Noerr The tidal wave of internationalisation has swamped many an independent firm in the past few years. But some firms are navigating their way through the flood better than others and one that has built a […]


Damage limitation required

Despite Obama’s victory, US financial services sector may yet avoid death by over-regulation Raphael Grunfeld, partner, Carter Ledyard & Milburn The worst fears of the financial services industry were realised at the moment Obama was re-elected as president. This second-term victory came about despite massive opposition from the US financial services industry. Obama’s re-election nails […]


Work Life Quiz: Steve Ryan, SA Law

What was your first-ever job? Stagehand at the local theatre. What was your worst experience as a trainee? Wandering into my principal’s office without a counsel’s notebook and pen. His reaction taught me never to do that again. Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in […]


Job Watch: Commercial real sstate

Real estate has taken a serious hit in recent years, but with signs that things are starting to pick, what does this mean for the legal market? “Commercial real estate is definitely on the up,” comments Justin Gyphion, a senior consultant at Taylor Root. “The Taylor Root Job Index, which maps the monthly number of […]

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