Making ripples – Turbulent times ahead for the Swiss legal market

Making ripples – Turbulent times ahead for the Swiss legal market

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 focus on alternative legal service provision. Accordingly, Swiss lawyers are much like the swans on Lake Geneva: smooth and serene on the surface, all the while …

The year offshore in review – The Iron Islands

The year offshore in review – The Iron Islands

Despite a year of pronounced headwinds, our annual focus on the ten largest offshore firms reveals that 2016 activity levels remained robust with an increasing focus on Asia and continued strength in dispute resolution. However, among the leadership of these firms there is little doubt that Brexit has had an inevitable effect on performance. ‘The …

The right platform – trying to find a long-term approach for Africa

The right platform – trying to find a long-term approach for Africa

‘There is no African law firm that does infrastructure the way we do; it’s front and centre of our strategy. There is a real gap in the market for a sector-based law firm.’ This bold statement comes from Richard Laudy, head of infrastructure at the latest foreign entrant into the increasingly popular South African market, …

Standing apart – the offshore fallout from the Panama Papers

Standing apart – the offshore fallout from the Panama Papers

On April Fool’s Day this year, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co notified its clients that it had sustained an email hack. It instantly became the world’s best-known law firm following the leak of 11.5 million documents, cherry-picked by global media outlets, that revealed confidential client information. The Panama Papers made news and so …

Aftermath – the offshore world post the Brexit vote

Aftermath – the offshore world post the Brexit vote

‘The morning after the night before, there was stunned silence,’ says David Cadin, managing partner at Bedell Cristin. For offshore law firms, the long-term implications of Brexit are no clearer than for their onshore counterparts and they are equally loath to make predictions when uncertainty continues to surround terms for the UK’s departure from the …

The Euro Elite top 25 – Wars of Independence

The Euro Elite top 25 – Wars of Independence

While the advance of global law firms has stalled in recent years, high-quality independents have regained their purpose. Welcome to the Euro Elite, our first study of the advisers redefining the Continent’s legal market. ‘There’s economic value in the culture of a firm,’ says João Vieira de Almeida, managing partner of Portuguese firm Vieira de …

Euro elite: focus Germany – Weltmeister

Euro elite: focus Germany – Weltmeister

German independents maintain elite status in a fiercely competitive market, despite the attention of some formidable global players. ‘Our market is one of the most competitive in the world,’ asserts Tobias Bürgers, co-managing partner of Noerr, Germany’s largest independent law firm with 427 fee-earners. In 2015, Noerr increased turnover by 5% to €207.7m. ‘Over the …

Euro elite: focus Italy – La dolce vita?

Euro elite: focus Italy – La dolce vita?

A new generation is revitalising the performance of a trio of Italian leaders committed to remaining steadfastly independent It’s been a hard decade for Italy, not least for its law firms: the product of a flat economy and relatively few deals. Even before the crisis, the economy had the lowest sustained growth of any OECD …

Euro elite: focus Iberia – Pushing boundaries

Euro elite: focus Iberia – Pushing boundaries

Dominant in their home markets, law firms from Spain and Portugal have weathered the tempest by heading for far-flung locations. As the EU’s fifth-largest economy, Spain is home to two of Europe’s legal giants, Garrigues and Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira: between them they have more lawyers worldwide than Linklaters – 1,410 and 970 respectively. In dwarfing …

Euro elite: focus Central and Eastern Europe – The tiger by the tail

Euro elite: focus Central and Eastern Europe – The tiger by the tail

Price wars, political and economic tensions and prolonged attention from large Anglo-Saxon players in the region have made the going challenging for independent firms in CEE. With a few notable exceptions, the last five years have seen some international law firms retreat from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) – in part a belated reaction to …