A no-deal outlook and the law – time for pragmatic pessimism

A no-deal outlook and the law – time for pragmatic pessimism

We go to press with Parliament locked in battle with the Government over threats to take the UK into a ‘no-deal’ exit from the European Union (EU). I’m not going to offer political predictions but we are clearly at the point where a disorderly exit from the EU is a very real prospect for the …

LB100: Legal elite shows resilience amid ominous haze

LB100: Legal elite shows resilience amid ominous haze

It is a measure of how fast-moving the Brexit-dominated landscape now is that imagery in this year’s Legal Business 100 (LB100) is dominated by Conrad, Castro and Coppola as the summer months have moved to rapidly challenge notions of how Britain works. One of the most stable and predictable major economies in the world has been …

LB100 drives income up 9% to £26.35bn but fears mount of a chaotic no-deal as Brexit fallout spreads

LB100 drives income up 9% to £26.35bn but fears mount of a chaotic no-deal as Brexit fallout spreads

With daily headlines reminding the City of the Brexit-induced crisis engulfing the UK, the Legal Business 100 (LB100) has shrugged off the pervasive uncertainty to post another year of robust growth. Amid the increasing probability of the UK facing a wrenching ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU on the looming 31 October deadline, the LB100 results …

The end of A&O’s marathon O’Melveny merger bid reveals the stark choices facing the Magic Circle

The end of A&O’s marathon O’Melveny merger bid reveals the stark choices facing the Magic Circle

This article sits in the news leader slot of our latest issue, but when considering Allen & Overy (A&O) and its epic courtship of O’Melveny & Myers, the defining factor has been the absence of news. Since it emerged last spring that A&O was in merger talks with the Los Angeles-bred firm, there have been …

Comment: As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on

Comment: As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on

There are times in my career as a legal pundit where I’ve gone against trend to argue the unpopular view. This is not going to be one of those columns. Instead, this is about speaking up for a truism that is unusual for being largely true and one that law firm leaders themselves frequently cite. …

Heal thyself – Top GCs and firm leaders on the future of law

Heal thyself – Top GCs and firm leaders on the future of law

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: Catherine, how much progress are you seeing at law firms in listening to the stuff clients tell them? Catherine Johnson, London Stock Exchange Group: They listen quite a lot. Whether they act on what they hear is the question for me. One of the areas where I have seen the biggest …

Profit per partner and other enduring hypocrisies

Profit per partner and other enduring hypocrisies

No-one got into journalism to be consistent, the trade typically being more attractive to trouble-makers than those hunting for enduring responsibility. But while hoping that proud tradition continues, in one area the legal media has pushed its licence for hypocrisy that step too far: the debate around law firm profitability. This over the years has …

Global 100 results show US question looming ever more ominously

Global 100 results show US question looming ever more ominously

Judging the world’s largest law firms, it is becoming a familiar tradition after we unpack the results of the Global 100 to look ahead to a more troubled outlook… which then turns into another year of robust growth. Take 2019’s results, one of the strongest showings since the banking crisis a decade ago, which have …

Comment: Less dire than expected but profession may yet squander influx of BAME lawyers

Comment: Less dire than expected but profession may yet squander influx of BAME lawyers

The good news is that up close the reality turns out to be not as awful as the cynics have feared. After all, for years the profession has avoided a frontal discussion of its record on ethnic diversity, choosing to submerge the topic within the umbrella of diversity and inclusion even as law firms became …

Comment: A Big Four breakthrough will need a far better GC offensive

Comment: A Big Four breakthrough will need a far better GC offensive

This title is on the record as having doubts regarding the Big Four’s legal ambitions, at least judged against claims typically made by some outside observers. Readers will all know such assertions: that the group are more sophisticated, slicker and tech-savvy than law firms and set to disrupt law on a global scale. But while …