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.

Lawyer podcast – 21 today
No one likes a show-off, but no discussion of the week’s legal web news would be complete without a few lines on… well… us.

The Lawyer’s podcast kicked off last week, featuring Linklaters‘ Tony Angel discussing the meaning of partnership and Ashurst senior partner Geoffrey Green giving the low-down on the way ahead for the firm. But if you didn’t know that already, you’re in the minority.

The Lawyer’s debut has stormed the podcast charts (yes, there is such a thing), hitting number 21 in iTunes’ 100 Top Business Podcasts chart – ahead of the likes of FT.com (32nd), Bloomberg’s ‘On the Money’ (45th) and the Wall Street Journal Report (86th). (Read it and weep, suckers).

If you want to join the party, go to www.thelawyerpodcast.com or look us up in iTunes. Or get one of your kids to do it for you.

Be happy with what you’ve got
This month saw the publication of the 2006 Chief Legal Officer Survey, published by the Association of Corporate Counsel. Thirty-two per cent of respondents said they’d dumped a firm in 2006, a fifth of which were characterised as having a ‘significant relationship’ with the client.

As WiredGC observes: “These exit percentages show the measure of the challenge law firms face in growing top-line revenues without raising rates or increasing billable-hour targets.

“While managing partners have their eye on the prize of increasing the number of clients, it’s clear they need to work hard to keep current clients happy.

“Given these reasons for firing firms, here’s a memo to compensation committees: throw a few dollars to partners minding active client matters. Retention is the foundation for expansion.”

Two sides to every story
On a lighter note, UK blog criminalsolicitor.blogspot.com featured a post from ‘Gavin’ on a leaflet he had received from the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association (LCCSA) promoting one of its new training courses.

Gavin explains: “I was somewhat amused by the leaflet’s description of the individual who was going to be speaking at the training seminar.

“I have set out below the exact text from the leaflet on the speaker (apart from his identity and the name of the firm he works for): ‘Mr. Solicitor is a solicitor at Solicitor & Partners and a regular lecturer for the LCCSA. [A certain directory] described him having a “pedigree which stands out by itself”. The 2005 edition describes him as “tremendously bright”, the 2006 edition as a “business crime legend”, and the 2007 edition as having made a “massive academic contribution due to his involvement on the lecture circuit.””‘Colleagues have described him as a “complete w**ker”‘.”

Gavin concludes dryly: “I am pretty sure that the last sentence was not supposed to be published and circulated to every member of the LCCSA.”

No argument from Web Week.

Protest song and dance
Headoflegalblogspot.com expressed its opinions on London protester Brian Haw, who was acquitted last week of breaching conditions imposed on his anti-war demonstration under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

Headoflegal said: “Am I alone in not seeing this as a huge victory for liberty? I can understand why [civil rights group] Liberty and others back Brian Haw, but I’m not really sure it is a fundamental right to be able to demonstrate wherever you want, however you want, at all times and continuously.

“I worry that that sort of obsessiveness gives protest a bad name. And I feel this is all relatively minor, really, compared to real dangers to freedom of expression, like what happened in Birmingham when the play Bezhti was closed by a violent mob with the police looking on.”1.CC partner blasts Bush govt and rejects boycottthreat2.Simpson Thacher raises salary bar after ‘very busy’year3.New York’s finest respond to Simpson salary gauntlet4.Ten US firms up salaries; London will have to wait5.Herbies partner fast-tracked to management6.Camerons ditches all-equity partnership7.College of Law gets top marks8.Ashurst revamps management board9.Simmons wins MoD role against all odds10.Dewey first to hike UK associate salaries