Top 10 stories 4 July – 10 July 2014

Take a look at the most-read stories on this week and share your views

The future shape of the legal market is a topic that always causes hot debate and this week was no different. Readers of were keen to air their views on a forthright opinion from commentator Mark Brandon about the end of the sector as we know it.

London will fall to US firms, he said, ABS is no big deal, Vereins have had it and the modern obsession with process is a waste of time.

One reader, Jeffrey West, commented: “What I think should be worrying for firms like Slaughters, is that they do not even appear in the top 20 by deal value in Europe. A firm like Simpson Thacher, whose home market is not even in Europe, consistently does. In the most recent European rankings Freshfields are No.1 for M&A value in Europe and Linklaters No.3.”

Another, Philip Jepson, added: “We are already seeing dubious combinations which seemed destined to become 1+1=1 and a bit. Multiple profit centres is a fudge and like all fudge will become sticky when the heat is turned up. I think Big Law generally has a problem and that will impact from the Magic Circle downwards but will also impact on the US firms.”

Allen & Overy managing partner Wim Dejonghe is one magic circle partner who certainly has his eye on the future. Dejonghe spoke to The Lawyer about A&O’s year-end results, The Lawyer asked whether there was disappointment among partners that the firm had failed to perform as well as Clifford Chance. Certainly not, Dejonghe responded.

“The fourth quarter was bit weaker than the rest of the year. Capital markets and emerging markets were quieter,” he reflected. “But to be honest it’s our best-ever year, and the fifth consecutive year of growing revenue and profits.”

Elsewhere, court news has attracted readers.

Many are still fascinated by how the Scottish court decided the difference between cake and biscuit. There was also interest in how the Court of Appeal (CoA) has found a ‘third way’ on costs battles, where one litigating party has failed to comply with court orders.

DWF’s decision to take on the Government in the High Court after it was left off the adviser roster to the Insolvency Service has also generated much interest.

Click on the links below to access The Lawyer Top 10 stories for the last seven days. Your views are always welcome.

1. Mark Brandon: UK law is focusing too much on the wrong things

2. A&O’s Wim Dejonghe: Higher plateau means partner hires

3. Gibraltar lawyers jailed over £40m client money scam

4. Cake or biscuit? The Scottish court decides

5. DWF in High Court battle with Government over Insolvency Service tender

6. CoA clarifies ‘misunderstood’ Mitchell ruling by offering third way on costs

7. Fieldfisher loses out, Ashurst, Simmons and Addleshaws ushered in as BP unveils UK panel

8. Linklaters’ turnover hits £1.255bn, PEP up 5.9% to £1.39m

9. Whatever happened to M&A fees?

10. Fee income on public M&A tumbles as deals dry up, research by The Lawyer reveals