Disputes Yearbook – online pdf

broken scales

While much of the country works from home we are providing an additional online option for you to access your copy of the Disputes Yearbook 2020. Please see below for a link to an online pdf of the Disputes Yearbook 2020. This will only be accessible to subscribers. Please make sure you are logged into the site to see the link.

Legal Business subscribers will be receiving their physical copies of the Disputes Yearbook once Legal Business resumes normal circulation.

Continue reading “Disputes Yearbook – online pdf”

Client service uncovered: The best-rated firms revealed

The world’s largest law firms are continuing to get bigger. Last year the combined number of lawyers across the Global 100 rose to almost 150,000, with Dentons – the world’s largest by headcount – housing more than 10,000 globally.

But while these international giants now cater to most commercial legal needs, in most corners of the globe, groundbreaking new analysis of the views of the people these firms care about most – their clients – has found conclusive evidence that smaller, specialist practices are outstripping them on quality of service. Continue reading “Client service uncovered: The best-rated firms revealed”

Global London Overview – Vantage points

City of London with businesspeople on girder

A group of elite firms using their vast resources to further reinforce in the City; a larger group suffering attrition or stasis as their presence wanes – 2019 proved to be another year of diverging fortunes for international firms in London. When you add to the mix that the leading brands have seen UK revenue outstrip global growth once more, at first glance it all seems a continuation of last year’s narrative.

However, the story is not as straightforward. True, overall lawyer count among the Global London 50 reached 7,434 – a steady 4% increase on last year. But compared to 2018’s 7% growth (or 15% if you include Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)’s debut), the advance of foreign advisers in the City has slowed as their outposts mature. Continue reading “Global London Overview – Vantage points”

Heavy hangs the crown – Can Latham remain the global firm to beat?

Early March 2018 looked like the best of times to be a lawyer at Latham & Watkins. At the end of February the Los Angeles-bred giant had become the first law firm to report revenues above $3bn. This distinction crowned two decades in which it had been the most upwardly mobile firm in BigLaw, smoothly transitioning from West Coast challenger to global trailblazer, upsetting established hierarchies in New York and London along the way.

But by the end of the month, its 700 partners spread across 30 offices throughout the world were to get an email summoning them to a conference call. Latham’s two vice-chairs Richard Trobman and Ora Fisher informed the global partnership that the firm’s executive committee had accepted the resignation of global chair and managing partner, William Voge. Only three years into his role, Voge was leaving with immediate effect following a series of ‘voluntary disclosures’ relating to personal conduct. Continue reading “Heavy hangs the crown – Can Latham remain the global firm to beat?”

Letter from Manhattan – The $6.4m question

‘Not everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people.’ The parting shot from Woody Allen’s iconic 1979 film Manhattan resonates among the Wall Street elite lamenting the increasing lure of megabucks within even the most clubby of partnerships.

In a legal community renowned for its glacial pace of change, New York has recently seen its share of upheaval, triggered by headline-grabbing paychecks testing faith in patrician partnership models. Continue reading “Letter from Manhattan – The $6.4m question”

Risk management survey 2020 – Crooked timber


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The ongoing #MeToo saga within in the legal profession was only a few chapters old last year when our annual risk and professional indemnity report with broker Marsh went to press. Fast forward a year and law firm risk managers and general counsel (GCs) are faced with a harsher environment to navigate on many fronts. Not least is the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s tougher stance on sexual misconduct allegations and calls for firms to have better procedures in place for handling internal complaints, as laid out in the regulator’s new Standards and Regulations (StaRs) rulebook last September.

As Stephen Morton, senior vice-president for professional risks at Marsh, observes: ‘It is striking how human the risks are now, compared to ten years ago after the financial crash when [they] were very much measured against loss strategies. There has been a shift to realising that the legal profession is fundamentally built on people.’ Continue reading “Risk management survey 2020 – Crooked timber”