All restless souls – City firms braced as partnership goes Millennial

‘It was so long ago,’ reflects Malcolm Sweeting, Clifford Chance’s (CC) senior partner, of his promotion to partner in 1990. ‘My only involvement in the process was playing football in Hackney one winter when a junior partner sidled up. “It’s all looking good,” he cryptically confided, before sidling away. Later, the senior partner rang me to say congratulations.’

Nearly 30 years from that night, the once obtuse path to partnership has been replaced with an excess of procedure, meaning the latest generation of partners has gone through a very different tournament to their colleagues currently nearing retirement. Continue reading “All restless souls – City firms braced as partnership goes Millennial”

The Euro Elite Overview: Ode to Joy


The good times are back in Europe – at least for now – making growth the word on every managing partner’s lips. According to the International Monetary Fund, last year’s European recovery was an ‘engine of global trade and economic growth’. Across the EU27, annual GDP grew between 1.5% and 5% – the biggest figures being recorded among the smallest member states that experienced a severe post-crisis downturn, including Ireland and some CEE countries.

The corollary? Bullish stock markets and buoyant initial public offerings with Mergermarket data showing that European M&A hit a post-crisis high of $929.3bn across 7,235 deals in 2017 – Europe’s resurgence has unleashed a wealth of corporate dealmaking ambition. Continue reading “The Euro Elite Overview: Ode to Joy”

The Euro Elite: Italy – And yet it moves

Italian astrology scene

Looking out of the window of his office overlooking the picturesque Piazza del Duomo on a rainy April afternoon, one veteran Milan partner is feeling sentimental: ‘I remember the firms that used to dominate the market back when I started – Graziadei, Carnelutti, Pavia Ansaldo. No-one hears of them anymore.’ What on the surface seems nostalgic reflection poses a pressing question for Italy’s current legal elite: what will become of today’s top independents in the near future?

‘It is as if the market gets tired of dominating firms every ten years or so and replaces them with others,’ agrees a partner in another office in the northern Italian city. Continue reading “The Euro Elite: Italy – And yet it moves”