25 years ago Legal Business was launched to chronicle a rapidly changing profession in the wake of Big Bang. We look back to identify 25 defining figures, events and trends that shaped a world-beating profession.
The curious nature of the legal industry means that as radically as things seem to change, they stay the same. In January 1990 the City was still being defined by the Big Bang de-regulation of London’s financial services market, even though boom was rapidly turning to bust. Leading City law firms were still basically domestic practices built around English practices with limited branch networks. An elite City law firm would not have generated much more than £100m in a good year. That scale and internationalisation would change in the coming decade – for all the talk of supposedly radical upheaval in the modern legal industry – the shake-up in the profession seen in the 1990s at the very least matches and probably outdoes anything that has happened since the turn of the millennium.