It’s been a busy and slightly bizarre year on 2016 has seen the biggest UK merger in recent history (CMS Nabarwang, as we still like to call it) and the trials of King & Wood Mallesons’ troubled European arm.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU sent shockwaves through the legal and financial industries, as did the Panama Papers leak in April, and both stirred up a healthy level of anger in our comments section.

This year’s Hot 100 list was the most popular article on The Lawyer website this year – no surprises there. We assume the hotties’ mums, dads and grandparents made up at least half of readers.

Our exclusive news that Freshfields had banned the male-oriented salutation ‘Dear Sirs’ was also a hit, although not all of our readers were convinced by the move. A number of commenters waded in with their own suggestions for client correspondence, but we’re not sure “Hi there” will ever take off.

Reports including our 2016 Salary Survey and our round-up of the biggest cases of the year also proved popular, followed closely by Cloisters barrister Schona Jolly’s cutting take-down of the Daily Mail in the wake of its “enemies of the people” Brexit judges splash.

The Lawyer’s first-ever live blog, run as lawyers at CMS, Nabarro and Olswang were told their firms were deep into merger talks, paid off, becoming our seventh most-read story of the year.

Never far from the spotlight, the sad news that KWM’s China bail-out had failed and partners were questioning the real possibility of an administration was our eighth most-read story.

A grand total of five Brexit stories made it into the Top 20 stories, with news Mishcon de Reya was poised to launch a legal challenge against the Government over plans to trigger Article 50 (a challenge that has got all the way to the Supreme Court) topping the list.

Meanwhile, a couple of stories even we were shocked at went straight into the most-read list: the news that DLA Piper had launched a ‘red card’ system to punish partners who don’t clock 7.5 hours a day, and a story about two very conflicting emails sent by Nabarro senior partner Ciaran Carvalho telling staff the firm would not be merging, and then that… it would.

Click the headlines below to read our most popular stories of 2016.