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Access your pdf edition of LB magazine – issue 314

The ESG Report 2023

Are leading global firms finally embracing ESG in earnest?

Overview – From buzzword to bona fide?

Our third annual ESG report reveals that firms are more willing to substantiate their ESG credentials. Is the industry finally moving away from paying lip service and towards embracing ESG in earnest?

Governance – Words into deeds

While environmental concerns and diversity efforts have dominated the ESG agenda, the ‘G’ aspect – governance – is often overlooked. How important is responsible law firm behaviour in the ESG context?

Litigation – Perpetual motion

ESG litigation is now a buzzword in disputes. Legal Business turned to litigators and funders to examine the market – and what we can expect moving forwards

MENA focus: From the World Cup to the world stage

The MENA economies are positioning themselves to capitalise on huge opportunities for growth – and law firms are front and centre

Life During Law: Jeroen Ouwehand

‘I never thought I’d spend 30 years at one organisation. My friends thought I would be like the Gen Z and Millennials we now hear about, always job hopping. But that didn’t happen, because I got such a variety of work, opportunities and continuous challenges at Clifford Chance.’

The Client Profile: Aleksandra Schellenberg, UBS

The global head of legal and sustainable finance at UBS, talks investment banking, ESG, and women’s wellbeing

Big Law’s diversity stats remain uninspiring – time to revisit the problem of social mobility

As we go to press on Legal Business’ third annual ESG report, the data points gathered on firms’ ethnicity and gender diversity make for disheartening reading, not least because they are entirely predictable in their lack of substantive progress from last year.

A&O Shearman is a marriage of necessity, not convenience

The most enjoyable part of analysing the proposed merger of Allen & Overy (A&O) and Shearman & Sterling has been hearing the reactions of leaders at peer firms to the video featuring senior partners Wim Dejonghe and Adam Hakki.

Departures from Shearman and Allen & Overy as merger is unveiled and energy dominates lateral hiring

Following the announcement of the proposed A&O Shearman merger, news came that Shearman & Sterling had lost two partners to Ashurst in London, which leads the headline moves – dominated by energy and infrastructure hires – in recent weeks.

Getting its mojo back: How A&O Shearman could redefine the Magic Circle

The proposed merger of A&O and Shearman & Sterling has got the market talking about the biggest news in the legal industry for decades. LB finds commentators sanguine on the deal – but management will have much work garnering partner support this summer ahead of the vote

‘Carveouts are here to stay’: green energy deals dominate as major players see signs of a bounceback

Early 2023 has been a tough time for deals. In our 2023 Deals Yearbook, for instance, citing Dealogic, we noted a decline in both the volume and value of deals. Q1 2023 saw just 601 deals totalling $19.6bn in the UK, while globally there were 9,400 deals worth a little under $591bn. This marks the lowest UK Q1 since 2009, and the lowest global Q1 since 2012.

Clifford Chance names Cohen first New York managing partner amid fresh bid to crack America with Houston office opening

In the wake of Allen & Overy’s stated ambition to merge with Shearman & Sterling, announced in May, Magic Circle peers have found themselves in the unenviable position of having to demonstrate to the market that they also have a coherent US expansion strategy.

The Last Word: On message

On the back of our third annual ESG report, key decision makers share their perspectives on key issues affecting law firms