Comment: Why law firm ‘values’ ring hollow (a call for honesty)

Comment: Why law firm ‘values’ ring hollow (a call for honesty)

Attending a conference recently for general counsel was a reminder that for all the chasm that remains between clients and law firms, they have both imbibed many of the same corporate fashions. A few years back it was all adding value and performance, now it is ‘values’, ‘authenticity’ and other forms of Diet Coke morality. …

An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate

An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: How is the market generally? Lee Ranson, Eversheds Sutherland: Most of the managing partners around this table will say it was a better 2017 than expected. We had some of our highest numbers against a budget where we were very, very wary with Brexit and uncertainty. Very strange. We are going …

The golden age of law firm leadership has passed… what now?

The golden age of law firm leadership has passed… what now?

I used to say three things when asked for a view on the quality of leadership in the profession. Firstly, that it was pretty good (certainly better than commonly supposed). Secondly, the standard has generally improved (since the early 2000s). And, thirdly, the notion that law lags far behind most industries in management is nonsense …

No-one cares about those corporate values

No-one cares about those corporate values

Attending a conference recently for general counsel was a reminder that for all the chasm that remains between clients and law firms, they have both imbibed many of the same corporate fashions. A few years back it was all adding value and performance, now it is ‘values’, ‘authenticity’ and other forms of Diet Coke morality. …

‘Our values are imperatives’: Pinsents chief on diversity, success and being bolder

‘Our values are imperatives’: Pinsents chief on diversity, success and being bolder

Legal Business (LB): How do you create a clearer picture of what Pinsents is doing on diversity? Richard Foley (RF): You’ve got to be consistent in highlighting it as a priority. We’re clear about the programmes we have and we’re vocal about successes. We’ve just been ranked second of all UK corporates in this year’s …

Brexit looms yet City law tilts further towards US leaders

Brexit looms yet City law tilts further towards US leaders

Striking numbers abound in this year’s Global London table, if you are into that kind of thing. The three pace-setting US brands in London – Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case – are all generating in the $300m region in the Square Mile, last year saw the first $10m lateral and …

Comment: After shock Voge departure, Latham has a #MeToo problem and so does the profession

Comment: After shock Voge departure, Latham has a #MeToo problem and so does the profession

Latham & Watkins and William H Voge are fortunate in one regard. The looking-glass glaze that appears when law firms are embroiled in newspaper-selling scandal typically inflates status to make a so-so story look better. ‘Top lawyer involved in….’ stories usually translates as ‘someone you’ve never heard of at a mid-tier firm you rarely think …

Comment: A shock to the system as Freshfields heavyweight departs

Comment: A shock to the system as Freshfields heavyweight departs

Given that it has been so well telegraphed that the $10m lateral was coming to the Square Mile, the shock among City peers at the hire of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity veteran David Higgins (pictured) has been, well, shocking. ‘Outrageous’, ‘obscene’ and ‘mildly appalling’ are among the reactions from peers. One hopeful partner at …

Comment: Slashing to victory – the most dangerous law firm myth

Comment: Slashing to victory – the most dangerous law firm myth

‘Turnover for vanity, profit for sanity.’ How many times have you heard that phrase or variations of the theme espoused in the legal industry? A lot since the banking crisis recast the profession. Commercial firms are forever chasing the grail of higher profitability to the extent of fashioning strategy around the notion of slashing the …

Comment: Law firms will never just hand status to City women – they’ll have to take it

Comment: Law firms will never just hand status to City women – they’ll have to take it

In a blow for traditionalists, our latest cover feature eschews profiling a group of hard-working, smart, highly-confident men who are talented lawyers to instead profile a group of hard-working, smart, variably-confident women who are talented lawyers. Radical stuff. But then the career cycle for too many ambitious female deal lawyers remains nasty, brutish and short. While …