Eighteen months ago I met the general counsel (GC) of a FTSE 250 company to listen to his plans to parcel up parts of his deals, based on complexity, and hand each chunk to a different panel adviser based on skillset, capability and cost.
Until very recently, this level of micro-management – and the prospect that law firms would no longer be handed a deal lock, stock and barrel – was not going down well. Not long after meeting this GC, I sat between two well-known managing partners at a dinner and listened to them assert matter-of-factly that this sort of tinkering round the edges would never become mainstream.
Increasing numbers of patent and trademark firms can be expected to join the swathes of legal entities becoming alternative business structures (ABS) after their regulatory body won the support of the Legal Services Board (LSB) to become an ABS licensing authority.
In one of three significant recommendations made this week by the LSB to the Lord Chancellor, the regulatory body recommended that the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) – the joint regulatory body for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys – be awarded ABS licensing authority status, meaning patent and trade mark firms will be able to operate as ABSs under IPReg's governance.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has bolstered its global real estate capability with the hire of a rated three partner team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's Moscow office.
The team, which is set to join Goltsblat BLP in mid-January 2014, includes the current head of Akin Gump's real estate practice in Russia, Vladislav Sourkov, who will be joined by his colleagues Rustam Aliev and Dmitry Maltsev. Sourkov is described by The Legal 500 as 'dedicated, experienced, and very driven on client service'.
On 20 November, Lord Sumption (Justice of the Supreme Court) delivered the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Lecture in Kuala Lumpur - The Limits of Law. This was followed by Lord Justice Laws on 27th November in the Hamlyn Lectures 2013 - see Lecture 3 Common Law and Europe. A further lecture on human rights was delivered in Warwick by Lady Hale (Deputy President of the Supreme Court) on 28th November - Lady Hale at the Warwick Law Lecture 2013 - What's the point of human rights?
These speeches / lectures are not only legally informative but they reveal something of the personalities of the speakers and their attitudes to the vastly important topic of human rights protection as it applies both in Europe and in the UK.