‘In the course of the last 30 years, a lot has changed in the legal world but a lot has stayed the same,’ observes Chris Saul, the former senior partner of Slaughter and May. Four months before the first-ever issue of Legal Business hit desks in January 1990, Billy Joel released the song We Didn’t Start The Fire – essentially a list of major world events chronologically since his birth in 1949. This review of 300 issues is more than just a simple list of the main protagonists of global legal practice over the last 30 or so years. But a long list of names have certainly come and gone: Frere Cholmeley Bischoff; Turner Kenneth Brown; DJ Freeman; Wilde Sapte; Landwell; Garretts; Halliwell Landau; Cobbetts; Dewey & LeBoeuf; Dundas & Wilson; Tods Murray; SJ Berwin… We certainly didn’t start the fire, although we lit a few metaphorical ones over the years.
Legal Business arrived after the Big Bang – the 1986 de-regulation of London’s financial services market and subsequent boom, which was followed swiftly by City law’s own big bang – the 1987 merger of Coward Chance and Clifford Turner – a key landmark for law firm globalisation that set the tone for much of our coverage over the past 300 issues.