Diversity was the theme of the week on TheLawyer.com as we revealed the results of our first-ever Diversity Audit and named our five Diversity Champions.
Two of the diversity-related stories made it into the top 10 stories for the week. Picking up not just readers on the website but also hundreds of social media shares, readers flocked to find out the five firms named as diversity champions – CMS, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Pinsent Masons.
Later in the week we focused on the fact that there has been no shift in the proportion of female partners in the top 100 and whether quotas would help. There was disagreement in the comments section, with several readers saying they thought quotas were not justified.
Diversity also came on the agenda as we examined who the frontrunners are likely to be in the upcoming Allen & Overy managing and senior partner elections. After we named partners Karen Steward and Cathy Bell-Walker as potential candidates, a debate arose over whether firms should be pushing more for female management.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s promotions round also fitted into the week’s theme with five of its nine new partners being female – including all three of those made up in London.
The week also saw a number of other key trends manifest themselves. Consolidation continues with news that Irwin Mitchell is in merger talks with Thomas Eggar, and our examination of the two firms’ figures proved popular.
Telecoms giant BT is to add regional firms and non-traditional players to its panel in its next planned review, which will also include a roster of barristers’ chambers.
Finance moves in the City continued as Linklaters finance partner David Ereira announced his departure for Paul Hastings.
As firms continue to look for ways to cut costs, it emerged that White & Case is planning the launch of a European shared services centre – probably in the UK, to take advantage of the jurisdiction’s culture and language.
Finally the biggest litigation story of the week was that Lloyds Bank has chosen to drop its appeal against a High Court ruling that said advice given to it by Linklaters on its acquisition of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBoS) is not subject to privilege.
But the most-read story of the week was Hogan Lovells’ moving tribute to Valentin Ribet, the Paris litigation associate who was killed in the terrorist attacks in the City last week. The firm said Ribet ”was a talented lawyer, extremely well liked, and a wonderful personality in the office”.
The top 10 stories of the week: