Legal Business Blogs

The Friday Edit: Nostalgia, greed and DLA – celebrating 25 years of Legal Business and other animals

With Legal Business gearing up for its Christmas lunch, it’s once again time to look back on the notable events of the week – and 25 years in this case – with The Friday Edit, our informal take on current legal happenings. For subscriber content, click here for full access to Legal Business or email ‘’ for more information. Corporate subscribers can also access our premium reporting firm-wide online and via our iPad edition as well as print copies.

Analysis of the week: How was it for you?

Our latest issue marked the 250th edition of Legal Business and the start of our 25th anniversary year, which we celebrated with a look back at the defining events, people and trends that shaped the legal industry since our launch. Among the people cited were Sir Nigel Knowles, Tony Angel, Geoffrey Howe, Sir Anthony Salz and Lord Bingham while defining events included the birth of Clifford Chance, the bankruptcy of Lehman and the collapses of Halliwells and Dewey & LeBoeuf. Our coverage also includes comment and insight from a host of industry heavyweights.

Subscribers can click here for the full coverage, while these open access comment pieces, ‘Legal Business celebrates 25 years and the profession as well’ and ‘Bringing greed to law – our part in the profession’s downfall’ pick up several themes.

Stories of the week:

While there have been a rash of high-end contentious boutiques formed in recent years, competition has largely avoided the trend – until now with the news that Clifford Chance’s former head of antitrust Oliver Bretz has quit to launch his own firm, Euclid Law. The move, which sparked a wrangle over Bretz’s contract, will be watched closely in what is one of the most strategically important practice areas for major law firms. Another popular story this week was research showing an explosion in negligence claims against law firms as claimants move to file before the end of the limitation period for losses incurred during the financial crisis. At the end of the week, Addleshaw Goddard unveiled its new strategy to run until 2019. While such exercises typically cause rolling eyes, the firm under new managing partner John Joyce needs to regain its form to reverse a six year period of decline so a fair bit is riding on this.

Quotes of the week:

‘Nigel Knowles took the second best firm in Leeds and created the largest law firm in the world.’

Tony Angel reflects on the unique contribution of his DLA colleague Sir Nigel Knowles, Shaping the industry – the veterans’ view on what mattered in the last 25 years

‘David is in back to back meetings every day for the next four weeks. It would be just impossible to set up a call.’

An Olswang staffer is less than proactive in facilitating contact with soon-to-be-departing chief executive David Stewart, Evasive Action

‘My initial reaction was: “Why on earth would we do this?”‘

Sir Anthony Salz recalls being initially less than compelled with the logic of a Freshfields/Bruckhaus union, How was it for you?

‘The profession should be far more demanding of getting its due from policy-makers and the media. Next year’s Global Law Summit is shaping up to be another missed opportunity in which law firms are targeted for sponsorship for an event spending more time on the Bar and judiciary.’

LB argues that next year’s Magna Cartastock remains confused in its aims, Legal Business celebrates 25 years and the profession as well

Something for the weekend: Paddington: the Immigration lawyer’s take (which is a lot better than it sounds)

Just to show it’s not all about big trends, globalisation and sweeping ambition we found the time this week to host an unusual but popular post on Paddington, in which barrister Colin Yeo reviews the film with a lawyerly eye. As Yeo notes: ‘I never knew the Michael Bond books as a child but Paddington is amongst immigration lawyers a walking, talking, ursine pin-up for humanising our work.’ Engaging stuff. Just as long as we don’t get a leveraged finance partner reviewing The Hobbit and banging on about dragon-related force majeure events. Have a good one.

Top posts:

Comment: Bringing greed to law – our part in the profession’s downfall

‘No one had done it in the London market’: Clifford Chance’s former head of antitrust launches City boutique

Rushing to launch: High Court cases for law firm professional negligence claims jump 192% in a year

(£) Life During Law: Jason Glover, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

A $150m award: Baker Botts loses another Russian case as Quinn Emanuel secures pay-out against gas giants