We’re halfway through November and it’s Friday, so here’s our regular look back at some of the stories that have drawn everyone’s attention over the last five days. For access to subscriber content, click here for full access to Legal Business or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, a friendly reminder that the deadline for submissions for the 2015 Legal Business Awards is this Monday (17 November).
Analysis of the week: Back in the game
The decimation of real estate teams at commercial law firms up and down the UK during the financial crisis has been well trailed. But the flow of foreign capital into London from Asia and the US in the last year or so has seen those property teams start to make a comeback. In our look at a revitalised real estate market, we ask whether the established players have maintained a tight grip on those lucrative instructions and whether firms that were perceived to have retrenched can regain lost ground.
Subscribers can read Back in the game – revival at last for real estate but the players have changed, while this open access comment looks specifically at the rhetoric surrounding the supposed withdrawal of the Magic Circle from the practice area. More comment from some of the most established real estate practitioners on the state of the market can also be found here.
Theme of the week: What’s in a name?
There was one clear winner as our most popular post of the week: the comment piece Join our club – law firms’ obsession with the in crowd is beyond parody tapped into the collective consciousness and was widely mentioned on Twitter. Alex Novarese looked into the fixation with terms such as ‘Magic Circle’, ‘Global Elite’ and ‘Silver Circle’, as firms often try to portray themselves as something they are not and asks whether or not a little individuality wouldn’t go amiss.
Story of the week: ‘A relief result – Turf war avoided as Palmer defeats Crean in HSF senior partner battle’
Herbert Smith Freehills dominated coverage last week, with our latest cover feature Consumed – Can burning ambition from Down Under recast Herbert Smith for the global stage? hitting desks. Our analysis of ongoing tensions between the Australian and UK factions of this international firm set the scene for the result of HSF’s much-anticipated senior partner election, which we broke this week. Herbert Smith legacy corporate heavyweight James Palmer emerged as the winner in a head-to-head battle with Australian Mark Crean. Palmer also took time to speak to us about his new role, which begins on 1 February and will run for three years.
Quotes of the week:
‘They can call themselves Global Elite if they like – they can call themselves Susan for all the difference it will make.’
Alex Novarese comments on the Magic Circle’s hankering after the Global Elite moniker in Manhattan, Join our club
‘I totally see the benefit of having a smaller number of trusted advisors because you can establish a better partnership and work better together.’
Nokia’s chief legal officer Maria Varsellona unveils plans to create a new formal legal panel, ‘Really exciting work’: Nokia to set up a new legal panel in early 2015
‘There was no one standing against Mark and Sonya with an alternative strategy so the senior partner election was a question of style and personality.’
Herbert Smith Freehills senior partner elect James Palmer explains how the CEOs run the show in the firm. ‘A very different role’
Comment: Join our club – law firms’ obsession with the in crowd is beyond parody
Comment: Magic Circle real estate withdrawal isn’t a myth, but it’s not that simple
A relief result – Turf war avoided as Palmer defeats Crean in HSF senior partner battle
‘Really exciting work’: Nokia to set up a new legal panel in early 2015
Revolving Doors: Bakers hires in the UAE, while Eversheds, Bristows, and Stewarts Law grow in the City