Sugar was sweeter

As if being a toffo would-be lawyer wasn’t a disadvantage already, aspiring barrister Nicholas De Lacy-Brown has done himself no favours on the PR front since.

The first candidate to be booted off TV’s The Apprentice yesterday, De Lacy Brown said he is “allergic to Chavs” and made little headway with working class, qualificationless former Spurs owner Sir Alan Sugar after implying that his degree set him apart and saying that he “didn’t do football.”

Due to join London’s Crown Office Chambers in October, De Lacy told the Lawyer’s student title Lawyer2B yesterday about the difficulty he had finding a pupilage, against which facing the wrath of Sir Alan is a cinch, he said. See story.

Already labeled “a pillock” by one reader, a quick visit to Brown’s own website reveals that he is, by contrast, “undoubtedly a man of many talents… a brilliant musician, fluent in Spanish, a successful property developer and business man, an artist and has a pupillage at one of London’s most prestigious barrister chambers.”

“I had 18 pupillage interviews and didn’t manage to get one job,” he told Lawyer 2B, adding that while he was at a loss as to why he kept being rejected, he believes the bar selection process is still heavily biased towards Oxbridge graduates. That must be it.

Olswang is about to go global
Yes, you read that correctly. Before last year’s opportunist Berlin launch, the firm’s big move outside London was in Reading. But all that is about to change.

Olswang’s Berlin office has today doubled in size by picking up star-studded IP shrapnel from Linklaters‘ German ‘size and shape’ – sorry – ‘strategic differences’ corporate re-alignment. See story

But things won’t stop there, oh no. Olswang managing partner David Stewart’s vision is for Germany to go full-service. Seeing as Berlin currently only does real estate, privatisations, projects, and now media, that could take a little while.

You gotta start somewhere though, and in line with Olswang’s rebranding as a corporate firm, it has been putting out ads to find German corporate lawyers.

But Germany is a bit of an anomaly because Olswang prefers close friends to on-the-ground offices. The firm has an established relationship with US firm Greenberg Traurig and sees this model as the way forward as it moves in to China and, hopefully, India.

And what about the Middle East? The firm’s board has reviewed and rejected a Dubai opening twice. It must be tempting then, but Stewart seems to have made up his mind.

“We don’t want to be one of the 700 firms opening up in Dubai,” he concludes. Olswang’s post-Goldstein world is starting to take shape.

Burges Salmon goes big; Trowers tails off
Over in Bristol, the news is that Burges Salmon has promoted more lawyers to the partnership than ever before. See story.

But at Trowers & Hamlins in London and Exeter meanwhile, the news is quite the opposite: partnership promotions slashed by 75 per cent. See story.

Needless to say, both firms say it’s all about strategy. For Trowers, that means a dramatic reduction in promotions to accommodate a blaze of five lateral partner hires in seven months.

And at Burges Salmon, the bumper promotions reflect the firm having made as many lateral hires as Trowers has in, er, five years.

Log onto our Partnership 2008 blog for the inside track on both.

Be happy for those American lawyers
Hope you all had a happy Easter and returned to work, happy, refreshed and excited to see the latest edition of The Lawyer on your desk.

And like most of the business pages, we’re looking West this week, but not in anguish. We’re celebrating the bumper year that the US top 50 enjoyed in 2007 with the deepest joy. See story.

The top 50 US firms reaped a whopping $46.8bn (£23.4bn) last year. That’s over double the £10.75bn that the top 50 UK firms scooped during the last financial year. But UK managing partners should be cheered by the figures and will be particularly pleased that the second half of the year held up so well. It will bolster the belief that it will be a while before any post-credit crunch hangover seriously hits UK firm finances.

Elsewhere in The Lawyer you can read about Robert Tchenguiz’s new man Robert McKeeve, Serle Court launching the first barristers’ set in Qatar and find out exactly what all those former judges are doing since retiring from the bench.

And bookmark the Partnership 2008 blog this week for all the latest partner promotions as they are announced.