20 December 1999

Quotes of the Year

“It is part of an aggressive expansion plan” – Tom Jones, partner at Thompsons, defies the laws of mathematics when explaining that the departure of 11 of Thompsons’ 55 equity partners will actually make the firm bigger – 15 March. “I’ve got 50 partners up my butt trying to find out what’s going on” – […]

The Legal Revolution

The legal profession has become almost unrecognisable since the 1960s with the sexual and global revolution and the realisation that it pays to advertise. Dominic Egan takes a look back over the last thirty years and gets a first-hand view from those who were involved in the legal century During the last three decades, the […]


Most columns look back at this point in a millennium. This one will look forward. Not a long way, mind you: only as far as the year 2000. But what a year it will be. First, the old favourites. Myra Hindley will be back in court, challenging the Home Secretary’s decision that she should never […]

A Female Lawyer's Tale

The age of pioneers was not so long ago. When she joined Lovell White & King in 1977 as a fee-earner, MacDonagh was one of just seven female lawyers at the firm. Each and every one of the partners was a man. MacDonagh says she did not feel intimidated by the situation, but admits that […]

Bringing the law to justice

It may be 72 years old but the case of William Knighton, who was hanged for the murder of his father, is one of the most recent cases to arrive at the Birmingham headquarters of the body charged with investigating miscarriages of justice. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has yet to decide whether to […]


Lawyer of the Century

Lord Denning Despite his controversial views Lord Denning was an extremely popular lawyer. Ryan Dunleavy reveals why The Lawyer has named him Lawyer of the Century At a legal dinner Lord Denning once said: “Unlike my brother judge here, who is concerned with law, I am concerned with justice.” Throughout his life Denning, the former […]

A year of living dangerously

In the year when City lawyers literally came under attack from anarchist groups and metaphorically from the media, The Lawyer examines the good, the bad and the ugly incidents that shaped the legal year. The good Cozen & O’Connor was the first US firm of the year to set up in London when it moved […]

Let's get quizzical

The millennium quiz offers you the chance to win a crate of champagne – as if you haven’t had enough – and the respect of your colleagues, so get your thinking caps on and your entries in soon 1. According to the Roman calendar the patron saint of lawyers is: a) St Ives b) St […]

Closing the deal

1999 saw a flurry of high profile mergers and acquisitions, with lawyers having to fight hard to win their trophies. Dearbail Jordan looks back at a busy year It was a deal that should never have happened. In February 1999 the Italian-based Olivetti Group launched its audacious £36.5bn bid for Telecom Italia, a company seven […]

Under Pressure

Once a bastion of convention and tradition, the bar has faced many challenges which have threatened its stability. Matheu Swallow looks back at a hectic and trying year

The Editor's Tale

The story goes that in 1986 Slaughter and May received a phone call from The Lawyer. “Could I speak to Mr Slaughter?” asked a journalist, only to be told that Mr Slaughter was no longer around. Undeterred, the hack responded: “Could I speak to Mr May, then?” According to Greig, the tale was invented by […]

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Lord Denning may be the lawyer of the century, feted for his legal accomplishments and influence on the profession, but the last 1,000 years also saw other famous, infamous and anonymous lawyers who played their part in shaping the legal millennium. Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi (1869-1948) Ghandi started as lawyer but moved into politics, becoming the […]

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