The totally scientific secrets of leadership – What I learnt from years of drinking with managing partners

The totally scientific secrets of leadership – What I learnt from years of drinking with managing partners

The upheavals of 2020 have given me more time than normal to reflect on something that I’ve spent a good deal of my career engaging with: leadership in major law firms. But while leadership in law is widely accepted as crucial to the success of major institutions, it is a subject that still attracts much …

Comment: City law shows remarkable crisis immunity (but managing partners aren’t ready to spread that message)

Comment: City law shows remarkable crisis immunity (but managing partners aren’t ready to spread that message)

Everybody likes to go along with the crowd, in business as much as life. So as the global economy is battered by the coronavirus fallout and many business sectors are on their knees, it’s inevitable that the legal industry has adopted a subdued tone focusing on the existential challenge it too faces. After all, official …

Comment: Apocalypse never – City leaders’ 2020 results show resilience to test the most confirmed Cassandra

Comment: Apocalypse never – City leaders’ 2020 results show resilience to test the most confirmed Cassandra

Given the savaging that Covid-19 has done to our collective sense of time, forgive a quick history lesson on the halcyon days of 2019. Pulling together the LB100 report for the 2018/19 period, Legal Business reflected: ‘After a credible performance, the profession now faces a slowing economy at home and abroad amid mounting unease generated …

‘Making Freshfields an American brand’ – Inside the Silicon Valley launch handing the City giant a rare opportunity

‘Making Freshfields an American brand’ – Inside the Silicon Valley launch handing the City giant a rare opportunity

Roughly 30 seconds into conversation with Boris Feldman it becomes apparent why the charismatic litigator is regarded as a local legend in California’s legal community. Spitting out colourful quotes with the confidence that comes from having acted for pretty much every Bay Area brand name going, the bow-tied Feldman has nonetheless chosen an odd time …

CC becomes third City leader to achieve post-pandemic growth as revenues climb £110m

CC becomes third City leader to achieve post-pandemic growth as revenues climb £110m

With the coronavirus pandemic still wreaking havoc across many industry sectors, London’s legal elite has continued to buck the dire wider market with the third Magic Circle firm announcing revenue growth. Results announced today (21 July) from Clifford Chance (CC), show the London outfit confirming robust growth in the face of the most challenging trading …

A&O shrugs off lockdown to hike revenues 4% to £1.69bn in first post-pandemic results from UK law elite

A&O shrugs off lockdown to hike revenues 4% to £1.69bn in first post-pandemic results from UK law elite

There has been much speculation about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the profession but the first set of results from a leading law firm has confirmed the gist of months of market chatter: they’re doing fine. Allen & Overy (A&O)’s financial results for the 2019/20 year show that the City giant managed the …

CC breaks ground with 15% ethnic minority target for partners but can the profession follow through?

CC breaks ground with 15% ethnic minority target for partners but can the profession follow through?

Is the next front on diversity in the profession targets for ethnic minority representation? The industry looks to be slowly moving that way with the news that Clifford Chance (CC) is committing to a host of new targets aimed at boosting diversity. Though the package unveiled today (14 July) is focused on representation on many …

Comment: Are stressed junior lawyers being struck off too easily? It’s time for watchdogs to consider a more flexible approach

Comment: Are stressed junior lawyers being struck off too easily? It’s time for watchdogs to consider a more flexible approach

In my line of work you’re supposed to pretend ideas come out of nowhere but this column was triggered by a well-argued piece by my former parish noting the contrast between senior lawyers let off with fines for regulatory breaches while juniors are routinely struck off. The question in a nutshell is why juniors are …

Signs of intent – Freshfields shrugs off US caution to secure high-stakes West Coast launch

Signs of intent – Freshfields shrugs off US caution to secure high-stakes West Coast launch

Observers of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have grown used to the City giant undercutting bold claims for its US strategy with half-hearted execution but the London leader has belied that image to announce an audacious launch in the key West Coast legal market. The announcement today (1 July), sees the Magic Circle firm recruit five senior …

Resetting associate comp – Better to bend than break but a rethink is still overdue

Resetting associate comp – Better to bend than break but a rethink is still overdue

While it’s surprising in some regards that it took this long, Allen & Overy has done the UK legal market a favour by substantially re-setting compensation bands for its junior lawyers. The move, confirmed on Monday (22 June), will see starting salaries and bonuses for newly-qualified lawyers in London fall from the current benchmark of …