Leader

After the pandemic: a good riddance to hot-desking

Until March, we were in a WeWork building. It was lovely. Great views of the South Bank and, in the distance, the City. The coffee was good. The loos were great. Even the DJ in the lobby lifted the spirits on a Monday morning.  Do I want to go back? Not enormously; I don’t miss […]

The hard truth facing China’s elite law firms

With dismal propulsion, Covid is already accelerating the gap between the rich and richest law firms; upper-mid-market firms have seen growth stall and margins shrink while partners at the biggest firms have barely seen any effect on their profit per point. I say dismal, because however neat the theory of consolidation sounds, there’s not necessarily much […]

The magic circle is dividing into East and West – place your bets

The dynamics of the magic circle shift according to what parameters are applied. It can be pay, where Freshfields and Linklaters have slugged it out for top PEP; or private equity market share, where Freshfields and Clifford Chance have maintained a top-grade client base; or attitude to jurisdictional expansion, where Clifford Chance and A&O have […]

If the C-suite has learned one thing from 2008, it’s how to talk

History can help you understand the present, but it never replays itself exactly. A comparison with 2008-10 does, however, provide insight on how law firms have learned from their mistakes. For reasons I can’t quite understand, some consultants and commentators regularly aim potshots at the quality of leadership in law firms when much of the […]

The pandemic and climate change need two styles of leadership

The start of the decade has been grim. A pandemic has led to multiple deaths, a stock market crash, panic buying and an impending recession. Legal industry talk of disruption through AI now seems entirely vanilla. And, without wanting to create a pecking order among the horsemen of the apocalypse, once the public health crisis […]

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Bliss it is in this dawn to be alive: predictions for the next 10 years in the law

Since 2010, change has been gradual. Workplace cultures are largely more thoughtful and accepting than they were a decade ago, but the idea that the practice of law has been disrupted is laughable. Excuse me if I raise an eyebrow at managing partners getting excited about the elite consultancy model and diversity of professional experience […]