The Bar Elite: Silk and steel

The Bar Elite: Silk and steel

Despite Brexit, costs pressures and the loss of financial crisis work, reports of the commercial Bar’s decline are overblown. We identify the sets and the silks redefining the modern Bar Everyone in the global business community seems to know that many of Britain’s brightest lawyers practise at the commercial Bar, helping to maintain London’s position …

Middle East: Mission unaccomplished

Middle East: Mission unaccomplished

‘The Middle East. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place’: the words of Donald Trump as he announced the recent military strikes targeting Syrian president Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. Although there is some truth to his sweeping statement, most of the over 400 million citizens in the 17 …

The Brexit countdown – The Irish question

The Brexit countdown – The Irish question

‘A dense population in extreme distress inhabits an island’ – that is how Disraeli began to define the Irish Question in the Commons in 1844. Without much hyperbole, it also defines the current state of the UK. Over halfway through the two-year time limit prescribed by article 50, but with no Brexit deal in sight, …

Switzerland – The rough and the smooth

Switzerland – The rough and the smooth

Switzerland has not been in a foreign conflict since 1815 when its neutrality was first established by the Treaty of Paris. But, two centuries on, the peace-loving nation could be set to experience a discreet civil war – this time between its law firms. Despite a cluster of top domestic players vying for the best …

The offshore elite in review – rolling with the punches

The offshore elite in review – rolling with the punches

Global stock markets rose by 22% in 2017, according to the Morgan Stanley Capital International index of bourses. Meanwhile, the World Bank is forecasting global economic growth to increase to 3.1% this year after a better-than-expected 2017 as investment, trade and M&A continue to rebound while commodity prices recover. Against this favourable economic background, it …

Laying the foundations – lawyers scramble as demand for African infra booms

Laying the foundations – lawyers scramble as demand for African infra booms

As the world’s largest continent, Africa covers 20% of global land area and 16% of the global population – currently 1.27 billion people, according to the latest United Nations estimates. By 2050, the addition of a further 1.3 billion Africans will be greater than the population growth in the rest of the world combined, pushing …

Offshore: Riding the storm

Offshore: Riding the storm

Think offshore centre and certain calm images spring to mind: elegant yachts, crystal blue water, sparsely-populated beaches and gently sloping palm trees. However, in September this idyllic cliché was superseded in the public consciousness by horrific scenes of destruction as Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria ripped through the Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands, where …

A new hope for Cyprus’s recession-battered lawyers

A new hope for Cyprus’s recession-battered lawyers

Years struggling with spiralling debt and a run on the banks brought Cyprus to its knees. But the island’s lawyers are upbeat once more Crisis is an overused term, worn out by endless repetition. For most European economies, it has meant a period of low or stagnant growth over the last decade and, in some …

Making ripples – Turbulent times ahead for the Swiss legal market

Making ripples – Turbulent times ahead for the Swiss legal market

An evolving Swiss legal market is embracing consolidation and lateral recruitment as firms thrive amid a buoyant deals climate. Will turbulent global conditions disturb the calm? Switzerland is changing. Among the country’s traditionally-minded law firms, conservatism is in decline, fuelled by a greater appetite for domestic mergers, increased lawyer mobility between firms and a belated …

The year offshore in review – The Iron Islands

The year offshore in review – The Iron Islands

Trump, Brexit and the Panama papers ensured a turbulent 2016 for the ten largest offshore firms. But our annual survey of leading players underlines the resilience of those leading the pack Despite a year of pronounced headwinds, our annual focus on the ten largest offshore firms reveals that 2016 activity levels remained robust with an …