LB100 shrugs off Brexit fears as fees hit £24bn but leaders wary of chaotic winter ahead

LB100 shrugs off Brexit fears as fees hit £24bn but leaders wary of chaotic winter ahead

Framed by mounting unease in the face of bitter Brexit negotiations, an uncertain business outlook and an inconclusive 2017 general election, the Legal Business 100 (LB100) has defied expectations to post one of its strongest performances of the last decade. Despite a wider environment harking back to the turmoil and divisions of 1970s Britain, the …

For good or ill, Kirkland is now redefining high-end law

For good or ill, Kirkland is now redefining high-end law

Though I’ve always known that soul-of-a-law-firm cover features are the biggest draw for our readers, the response to our Kirkland & Ellis epic in July has been striking. Not since ‘Branded’ two years ago exposed the state of King & Wood Mallesons’ European business has a piece in these pages provoked such an intense reaction. …

Comment: A new Global 100 elite emerges as the old ones decline

Comment: A new Global 100 elite emerges as the old ones decline

In the summer of 2017 the world’s top law firms were looking at their next financial year with scant optimism given a turbulent geopolitical backdrop and uncertain economic headwinds. As it turned out, driven by a robust global economy, bullish investors and a re-born enthusiasm for cross-border transactions, the 2017/18 season proved kinder than forecast, …

Law firm IPOs still don’t make much sense (but soon could)

Law firm IPOs still don’t make much sense (but soon could)

‘Who would possibly invest in a law firm?’ asks one leader this month, reflecting a common view. Yet the current vogue for floating law firms suggests momentum is indeed building, more than a decade after the introduction of the Legal Services Act. In recent weeks, DWF has turned heads with talk of a £1bn float …

The new outlook for City leaders – Casinos hitched with a utility

The new outlook for City leaders – Casinos hitched with a utility

Through much of 2018 the talk has been that major City firms have been extraordinarily busy. GDPR, a rebound in transactional activity as deals put on hold by Brexit are pushed through, a robust showing from the global economy… And this has translated into… not that much. London’s Big Four Magic Circle firms have packed …

A new Global 100 elite emerges as the old ones decline

A new Global 100 elite emerges as the old ones decline

In the summer of 2017 the world’s top law firms were looking at their next financial year with scant optimism given a turbulent geopolitical backdrop and uncertain economic headwinds. As it turned out, driven by a robust global economy, bullish investors and a re-born enthusiasm for cross-border transactions, the 2017/18 season proved kinder than forecast, …

Comment: GCs should grasp that disruption won’t leave their empires untouched

Comment: GCs should grasp that disruption won’t leave their empires untouched

A lively debate over coffee recently with Axiom founder Mark Harris took me back to the discussion that manifests most frequently in my line of work these days: the extent that legal services are transforming with new providers and tools. While Harris highlights many genuine changes in the industry and buying behaviour we disagree on …

The Magic Circle packs tight in 2018 results as A&O follows peers with modest growth

The Magic Circle packs tight in 2018 results as A&O follows peers with modest growth

The firm was a stand-out performer in 2017, but Allen & Overy (A&O) could not keep up the blistering pace for a second year as the London leader today (6 July) confirmed a solid but unspectacular 4% hike to its top line, sending revenues up £54m to £1.57bn. The result was matched by a 4% …

Comment: BCLP offers a (slightly) better post-merger pitch than expected

Comment: BCLP offers a (slightly) better post-merger pitch than expected

It would take a generous observer of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) to claim the once sure-footed outfit had managed anything better than an indifferent run in the years preceding its union with Bryan Cave. Having dazzled through the 2000s – a period in which the firm seemed to have single-handedly revived the unfashionable notion of …

Comment: The good things the ‘pundits’ never tell you about the legal profession

Comment: The good things the ‘pundits’ never tell you about the legal profession

This may be an issue dominated by all things Millennial, but I am past that, so the column that follows is likely the result of age-induced cynicism. But even by the standards of the legal industry, I find myself increasingly weary of what passes for industry commentary these days. If an alien beamed down to …