Ticking boxes – Is City law going beyond the platitudes on ethnic diversity?

Raph Mokades

‘People are so scared to talk about race in the UK,’ Linklaters senior partner Charlie Jacobs says. ‘They think it’s a landmine they’re going to walk straight into, so they’d rather avoid it entirely.’

A landmine – easy to lay but hard to get rid of – which has seen Big Law for years avoid a substantive discussion around ethnic diversity. Gender is already an uncomfortable topic for the industry, yet not so uncomfortable that it has obscured increasingly intense scrutiny of the profession’s poor record promoting female partners. In contrast, ethnic diversity at the upper reaches of commercial law is rarely addressed head-on, being submerged in the wider ‘D&I’ discussion. Continue reading “Ticking boxes – Is City law going beyond the platitudes on ethnic diversity?”

The DAC Interview – Close to the rocks

Virginia Clegg and David Pollitt

Legal Business (LB): You have both been in charge for nearly four years. What are some of the highlights?

David Pollitt (DP), managing partner, DAC Beachcroft: One of the first things we decided was to streamline our governance, which Virginia led on. We wanted to become more corporate, leaner and more efficient in decision-making. But we also wanted to be clear about our purpose, our vision, our principles and our business strategy. It took us some time, probably 12 months. Continue reading “The DAC Interview – Close to the rocks”

The Euro Elite Overview: Life in the bubble

EU island fortress in the rain

Europe’s independent law firms fared much better in 2018 than most of the EU economies in which their clients operate. Set against the background of a US-China trade war, sluggish output and the prospect of an imminent Brexit, GDP growth in the eurozone limped to a disappointing 1.1% last year. Overall deal volume and value also pointed downwards, particularly in the second half of the year according to Mergermarket, but thanks to increased regulation and compliance, investigations and dispute resolution, there was plenty for lawyers to do.

This has led to multiple firms in our fourth annual Euro Elite report – which identifies 100 leading firms in around 40 European jurisdictions using a methodology that blends size, reach and quality across key product lines – reporting annual revenue growth of between 5% and 10%. In meeting the sustained challenge of international players, Euro Elite firms are more than holding their own. Continue reading “The Euro Elite Overview: Life in the bubble”

The Euro Elite: France – La vie en rose

Paris in pink

Any conversation with a French lawyer these days turns at some point to the volatility of the market and the unpredictability of the future. But there is more substance to these words this time around than a reflection of the industry’s traditional caution.

In just over two years, France has gone from an election that might have ended up with a populist anti-EU leader to the enthusiasm for the victory of business-friendly, pro-European Emmanuel Macron… and then to the rude awakening of social unrest and economic slowdown. Continue reading “The Euro Elite: France – La vie en rose”

Client Service Awards – What clients really want

analytics

Stewarts, Mishcon de Reya and Weil, Gotshal & Manges have emerged among the top-performing law firms for client service in the UK, according to brand new Legal 500 research assessing what clients really think about their external advisers.

The trio are among a host of leading US and UK firms to have been recognised by our new research project, which is the culmination of one of the most comprehensive surveys of law firm clients ever. Continue reading “Client Service Awards – What clients really want”