Welcome to a new and hastily-named feature on Legal Business’s blog in which we reflect on the week and highlight notable and interesting articles for readers shamefully doing other things than living on our website over the last four days. The format will likely evolve since I’m making it up as I go along.
Highlight analysis: LB100 – Wind in their Sails
The Legal Business 100 is always the biggest and most ambitious annual report we do, providing the market-defining picture of the state of the UK’s leading law firms. The theme of turbulence from 2013’s report endures through 2014 despite some revival in confidence and growth.
Our lead article, ‘Wind in their Sails’, focuses on performance across the top 25 UK law firms, providing a comprehensive view of the environment for the UK’s largest legal outfits and including case studies on Clifford Chance and Berwin Leighton Paisner (sub required). For a bare bones overview of the LB100, see this blog.
Theme of the week: Partner recruitment season off to a flying start
As usual when the back-to-school period kicks in come September, it’s been busy for partner recruitment and the week has seen a flurry of notable hires including Slaughter and May which saw a rare exit when tax partner Graham Iversen left to become head of Greenberg Traurig Maher’s London tax practice, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hiring two veteran Wall Street lawyers to bolster its US deal practice, Clifford Chance tapping Herbert Smith Freehills’ diminishing equity capital market ranks and US disputes leader Boies Schiller launching a City arbitration practice with a partner from WilmerHale. Click here to see a full rundown of the week’s recruitment activity.
Story of the week: Bingham’s City arm facing restructuring exodus
No contest on this one, after weeks of City chattering about the tensions evident at Bingham McCutchen at home and in the Square Mile, Legal Business confirmed that Akin Gump was in talks to take on a sizeable restructuring team from the firm. The level of interest in the story is underlined by the fact that the piece has already become the most widely read article posted on our website this year. Other notable stories of the week saw the University of Law lose trophy client Clifford Chance to arch rival BPP, Co-op’s much touted law arm facing mounting losses and Weil Gotshal make a seven-figure payout to settle a negligence claim.
Something for the weekend:
Readers wanting something a little more leftfield to engage their minds ahead of the weekend may want to see this informal take on the future of the profession or read the reflections of Kirkland & Ellis man-about-town Neel Sachdev in this month’s Life During Law. Wise counsel from Neel there on when to avoid a purple suit to the office.
Most popular blogs of the week:
Bingham’s City arm faces restructuring team exodus to Akin Gump
Women in law – rising up the agenda but female lawyer numbers continue to slide at elite UK law firms
Clifford Chance drops University of Law for arch-rival BPP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges pays out multi-million pound settlement over professional negligence claim
Freshfields hires US M&A and leveraged finance heads in New York expansion