Hogan Lovells was right to get hitched. It needs to remember that.

Hogan Lovells was right to get hitched. It needs to remember that.

I’m not a big fan of comparing law firm mergers to marriages. All those torturous metaphors and incongruous imagery. But in assessing the three-year old union between Lovells and Hogan & Hartson, it’s hard to escape the nuptial motif. The deal was forged amid high expectations and a simple analysis: both firms were better off …

The Asian century maybe but not the Asian decade for the Global 100

The Asian century maybe but not the Asian decade for the Global 100

The market for the world’s largest law firms remains as reliably turbulent as ever. The group as a whole eked out a 4% hike in revenues to generate $84.9bn, a figure slightly flattering underlying growth due to a handful of sizeable mergers – including the creation of Herbert Smith Freehills and King & Wood Mallesons. …

Sort of offshoring – Ashurst to create new Glasgow unit to lower costs as City leaders push for value

Sort of offshoring – Ashurst to create new Glasgow unit to lower costs as City leaders push for value

Major law firms continue to appropriate ideas from legal process outsourcing with Ashurst today (12 June) announcing a venture to create a 150-strong unit in Glasgow to support its practice. The venture, which will launch later this year, will cover back office support and volume legal work, initially covering areas like document review in litigation …

Comment: In defence of big – the maths are favouring two + two

Comment: In defence of big – the maths are favouring two + two

How many times do you hear lawyers roll out the line about mergers having to be two-plus-two-makes-five? True in many regards. Getting bigger doesn’t make you better or necessarily solve structural and strategic issues and mergers are hard to pull off effectively. But when it comes down to it, this truism has become pretty misleading …

A giant’s first steps – Norton Rose Fulbright goes live with suitably comprehensive governance team

A giant’s first steps – Norton Rose Fulbright goes live with suitably comprehensive governance team

One of the most touted legal mergers of the last decade today (3 June) goes live with Norton Rose and US partner Fulbright & Jaworski unveiling a full governance team for the combined practice. Norton Rose Fulbright confirmed the make-up of its global executive committee and group-wide supervisory board, with Fulbright managing partner Kenneth Stewart …

In defence of big – the maths are favouring two + two

In defence of big – the maths are favouring two + two

How many times do you hear lawyers roll out the line about mergers having to be two-plus-two-makes-five? True in many regards. Getting bigger doesn’t make you better or necessarily solve structural and strategic issues and mergers are hard to pull off effectively. But when it comes down to it, this truism has become pretty misleading …

Comment: A star signing is one thing but who needs a lateral?

Comment: A star signing is one thing but who needs a lateral?

The worlds of business, politics and sport have since the 1970s fallen increasingly under the spell of the star individual and law has been anything but an exception. As partnership mitigates the heaviest excesses of the winner-takes-all compensation cultures seen in banking, sports and plc management, in law the star culture has manifested to a …

Online controversy alert: Hardwicke disowns article by own barrister after attack on Yewtree sex investigation

Since the rise of social media gave professional lawyers a fast-expanding number of outlets in which to publish their views, there has been a protracted (and often turgid) debate on the liabilities and brand risk for law firms and chambers regarding the statements made by their lawyers. But this has appeared to be largely about …

Old normal update – Linklaters outpaces Slaughters to hike starting associate pay by £2,500

Old normal update – Linklaters outpaces Slaughters to hike starting associate pay by £2,500

A further reminder comes this week that despite much talk of the pressure on the legal market (see Comment: Things I would have said about the future of law if I hadn’t forgotten my notes), leading City players continue to be highly profitable with Linklaters announcing on Tuesday (7 May) that it is raising its …

Comment: Things I would have said about the future of law if I hadn’t forgotten my notes

I was recently asked to speak on a panel debate for Georgetown Law at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s City office to discuss the big issues facing the profession. As the panel’s host, Freshfields managing partner Ted Burke, sent the speakers some outline topics and questions beforehand, I sketched out some points to help order my thoughts.