Web week

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@thelawyer.com.

Wisdom brief
There’s nothing like overhearing students’ conversations to make one feel old. Which is what the current crop of blawgs that have emerged recently are likely to do.

Be it londonlawstudent.blog spot.com or the ‘Diaries of UK Law Students’ (uklawstudent. blogspot.com), the tales of merriment and woe at the increasing workload (we can’t wait until they start as associates at City firms) from law students transport one back to an altogether happier time.

Our favourite this week is ‘Legally Blonde in London’ at reallylegallyblonde.blogspot.com, where the pink-fonted stream of consciousness would rival that of James Joyce. To wit, a post entitled ‘Random Thoughts’:”1) It’s 5.30 and it’s still quasi-light. That means it’s nearly summer. Hurrah!2) My wisdom teeth are coming out a week tomorrow. I’m worried. And I’m going to miss lots of law school on account of it, as if I needed any more days of not doing work. And I’m going to miss the lecture on search dogs – which is monumentarily unfair since there will be an ACTUAL dog!! :(3) You would think that a law school would be on top of issues to do with occupiers’ liability and would fix the dodgy piece of carpet sticking out in the library. I nearly tripped.”

We see a fine personal injury lawyer in the making (if she doesn’t sell the film rights to her story).

Chinese monopoly
Meanwhile, 5,000 miles away a blawg has been created in China – www.chinalawblog.com . Written by two lawyers (one in China, one in the States), the blawg is a refresher course on all that is topical in China, with some considered opinion.

One post discusses the recent stories in Fortune and the Wall Street Journal’s own blawg about the very first Chinese antitrust judgment that is due to be passed down, brought by Sichuan Dexian Technology Co against Sony for abuse of dominant position – China’s very own Microsoft competition case.

The blog says: “I also just do not see the Shanghai court putting into force anti-monopolization law through the back door.

“Doing so would be too much judicial activism, particularly when there is already so much talk in China of enacting explicit anti-monopolization law. I do not see such laws being enacted in the short term either.”

Hazed and abused
The saga of the bitter feud between Sullivan & Cromwell and Aaron Charney has gone mainstream. Manhattan is afluster with its very own live version of Philadelphia, and commentary has jumped from blawgs to established glossies.

New York magazine, which is normally read by Manhattan’s chattering classes to discover the nearest sample sale or find out about a particular socialite’s latest charidee endeavour, devoted a full seven pages to the Charney affair, complete with arty black-and-white portraits of the former Sullivan associate. Never knowingly underpunned, the mag went with the title ‘The Gay Flannel Suit’, which is available online at nymag.com/ news/features/28515/index6.html.

If the full article seems a little labour-intensive, here’s a teaser: “Charney says he had walked into Krautheimer’s office to get a document he needed when Krautheimer tossed the paper onto the floor. ‘Bend over and pick it up,’ Charney claims Krautheimer said. ‘I’m sure you like that.’

“It was a comment that would be shocking and inappropriate in nearly any professional environment. Then again, this was not any professional environment. Associates at big corporate firms are often bullied by partners – beset by tantrums and cruel criticisms. Partners get away with it, it seems, because associates are essentially a fungible resource – easy to replace and therefore hard to care much about.

“The abuse can even be seen as part of the strange hazing process at corporate firms by which a class of more than 100 associates is whittled down over eight years to a dozen or so people who make partner.” 1.Freshfields chief speaks out2.Linklaters usurps Freshfields and Slaughters afterLinde reshuffle3.German firm enjoys Oscar glory4.Nabarros rebrands as Nabarro for ‘user-friendly’image5.Wall Street trio land TXU, world’s biggest privateequity deal6.Dewey hits back with W&C hire7.A&O suffers as another partner quits in Italy8.Heller plunders second group from WilmerHaleLondon9.A&O gives welcome boost to Welcome Break10.Aussie firms to target private equity investment