29 April 2013


Pressure group: analysis on retention rates

The trainee intake model has reached critical point with shrinking business opportunities compounded by high training costs The course charted from trainee to partner has never been more fraught with obstacles. The ladder that once took an army of fresh-faced gung-ho graduates to the heights of mega-billing City partnership been blown apart in this stormy […]

Cat Griffiths index

Tough questions to face on trainees

With all the chat about LPOs, process engineering and paralegals, you’d be forgiven for thinking that trainees’ days are numbered. Certainly, most firms are decreasing their intakes in the face of limited revenue growth. Retention rates are also slipping, but this isn’t because firms are applying sophisticated algorithms to future workflows. Most are simply unable […]


London litigation boutiques prove attractive

A hit with in-housers, litigation boutiques are keeping the bar buzzing The explosion of litigation boutiques in London since 2008 has had an impact on the bar, and not in the way that many anticipated. Many predicted competition between barrister and solicitor would reach boiling point following the implementation of the Legal Services Act (LSA), […]


Avoiding clashes in international networks

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy avoids rows among firms’ complex overseas networks Aussie lawyers can be outspoken about their affection for their firm friends in Britain, but that candour is not always reciprocated. Take Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) friendship with Australian mid-sized firm DibbsBarker. The latter is frank about its close working relationship with BLP […]


This Qasa is a dark star indeed

‘Quality assurance’ for criminal advocates is an expensive waste of time What’s the difference between a Qasa and a quasar? Well, the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Qasa) is the odd progeny of the Joint Advocacy Group (joint, that is, between the Bar Standards Board (BSB), the SRA and ILEX Professional Standards). It aims to […]


Subversion of JRs is unjustified

Restricting the judicial review process is a constitutional matter and has nothing to do with cutting red tape It’s not a good time to be an environmental lawyer – or indeed any lawyer interested in exercising the right to challenge public bodies. The latest proposals to “get a grip on the massive growth industry” of […]


Online piracy enforcement in the UK – what a carry-on

Copyright lawyers want legislation reformed and simplified to create a level playing field for movie distribution channels Slipping a DVD or Blu-ray disc into a multimedia entertainment system is the modern equivalent of winding up the gramophone or gathering around the piano for past generations. But couples snuggling on sofas with a bucket of home-made […]


Top areas for promotions to partnership

As UK firms expand globally, are City promotion prospects on the wane? Last week Ashurst, Norton Rose and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) all announced their global partner promotions rounds for 2013. All three UK-headquartered firms expanded overseas through international tie-ups last year. As the promotion season gets into full flow it is appropriate that City […]


Shearman makes its Deutsche mark

Firm promises ‘elite’ operation in Germany – that’ll be smaller then Shearman & Sterling has never had the easiest of times in Europe. Even the US firm’s biggest fans would admit its history in Europe has been rocky at times. Over the years numerous partners have come and gone as Shearman tried to keep pace […]

Madeleine Power

Jury trials are tangled in the web

If the judiciary can’t keep pace with technology, US-style closeted juries will become the norm The internet, social media and mobile communications are not only changing the way court cases are reported but making it far harder to protect juries from prejudicial reports from the outside world concerning cases they are sitting on. Now that […]


A touch of steel in the boardroom

Australian boards should put foreign bids under the microscope to avoid a repeat of the Sundance saga  The recent failure of a big Australian resources deal has led to much analysis of the regulatory processes involved, but less attention has been given to the board practices that were in play. The Sundance tale presents a […]


Moves: 29 April 2013

Move of the week The group general counsel of Man Group Stephen Ross is to join Sidley Austin as co-head of London investment funds. Last month Man Group’s head of legal Jasveer Singh was promoted, following Ross’s departure from the FTSE 250 group. Ross was co-head of private equity funds at Clifford Chance along with […]

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