Vital signs – the passing of old Ashurst holds new life

Vital signs – the passing of old Ashurst holds new life

Sometimes in institutional terms, something has to die before something new can live. The good news for Ashurst, as chronicled in this month’s cover feature, is that the City player is showing vivid signs of renewed life, with the firm set to post by far its best performance after a decade that has been plain …

Comment: Innovation needs law firm champions as Axiom doubts emerge

Comment: Innovation needs law firm champions as Axiom doubts emerge

We have at LB Towers something of a reputation for being sceptical of the claims to fresh thinking surrounding much of New Law Land. One exception, though, has been Axiom, the pioneering outfit that pushed lawyering into the mainstream. Sure, Axiom’s message could be obscured by strangulated attempts to ape Silicon Valley speak, an odd …

Comment: ‘This ain’t stewardship’ – delaying partnership until mid-30s is unsustainable

Comment: ‘This ain’t stewardship’ – delaying partnership until mid-30s is unsustainable

Having recently shared a few drinks with one of the most talked-up youngish corporate lawyers in the City, the question came up about mid-way through as to what age they made partner. The answer: 36! And there lies much of what ails major law firms, though older partners continue to float around effecting increasingly unconvincing …

The International Arbitration Centre launches: The City finally gets the disputes space it’s been waiting for

The International Arbitration Centre launches: The City finally gets the disputes space it’s been waiting for

For years seasoned practitioners have bemoaned the lack of top-notch arbitration facilities in London, casting an envious eye at the polished offerings in rival hubs like Singapore, even as the City has boomed as a global centre for dispute resolution. Now advisers sick of arguing about venues and decamping to hotels for major disputes are …

Comment: Beyond barbarian – Another stride as Kirkland signs private equity’s most wanted

Comment: Beyond barbarian – Another stride as Kirkland signs private equity’s most wanted

If the news in late 2017 that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity veteran David Higgins was joining Kirkland & Ellis was an insult to his Magic Circle firm, the announcement barely into 2019 that Kirkland was following up with his colleague Adrian Maguire looks like grievous injury. The record-breaking transfer of Higgins was a symbolic …

Comment: It’ll take more than a float to make DWF the new DLA

Comment: It’ll take more than a float to make DWF the new DLA

Regular readers will have to forgive two columns in one issue on capitalising law firms but the day I write this piece DWF has finally set out its stall for that much-touted public float. As can be gleaned from last autumn’s cover feature on law firm IPOs, there is a considerable scepticism regarding the rhetoric …

The future of law will need long-term investment

The future of law will need long-term investment

A little over five years ago Legal Business produced a cover feature dubbed ‘How to improve a law firm in 17 easy steps’. The piece – intended as a series of practical proposals to improve the working of law firms – has aged as well as anything printed in these pages. And while point one …

The GC outlook: more for more and more to come

The GC outlook: more for more and more to come

As a long-term observer of the legal profession, I view the development of GCs with an oxymoronic mix of admiration and cynicism. Admiration because common claims about the dramatic improvements in the calibre and size of the talent pool in the in-house profession are that rarest of beasts: a received wisdom that turns out on …

Our latest event: 80 top partners and general counsel (plus a few token men)

Our latest event: 80 top partners and general counsel (plus a few token men)

One of our favourite pieces of the year was our first cover feature of 2018, Alphas, which thanks to the tireless efforts of senior reporters Nathalie Tidman and Marco Cillario, aimed to provide a credible selection of the top female talent in City law. It was always the plan, if the piece was well received, …

Enterprise GC 2019 – Our flagship in-house event returns bigger, better and with a lot more bluechip GCs

Enterprise GC 2019 – Our flagship in-house event returns bigger, better and with a lot more bluechip GCs

Consider this a call to arms or an acknowledgement that I can use all the help I can get but our team has begun turning its mind to the next Enterprise GC summit, the flagship in-house event from our parent company Legalease. It is, and has been, a group effort spanning teams across The Legal …