Sponsored briefing: Legal tech – Too much of a good thing?

Law Tech: GC readers manual

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Neota Logic

Nearly $1bn was invested in legal technology and New Law disruptors in 2018. That was across more than 50 funding rounds and included start-ups through to more established players, according to research from Investec. Venture capital, private equity, non-legal companies and trade buyers are increasingly interested in what they see as a highly-lucrative legal sector.

The frequency and scope of legal tech funding has also jumped markedly: a Thomson Reuters report in mid-2017 put investment into UK legal tech start-ups at just £16m in the previous 18 months. Hundreds of legal tech companies have subsequently popped up. Every law firm is quick to tout its latest innovation or partnership with a technology provider, while some even have incubators where they work with start-ups over several months, honing products. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Legal tech – Too much of a good thing?”

New tricks – Can law firms beat New Law disruptors at their own game?

'How it works': New Law book

Lee Ranson was restless. It was late 2018 and Eversheds Sutherland’s co-chief needed something different: a viable plan to double revenue over the next five years.

A few months earlier, he and US-based co-chief executive Mark Wasserman had joked about telling the firm’s partner conference in New York they were floating on the stock exchange. Now Ranson turned his mind to a public offering, or at least the options to attract external investment. But it was not about his law firm. This was about Eversheds’ alternative legal service offerings, covering consulting and flexible lawyering, then generating £29m annually. A tidy sum, and growing rapidly, but just 3% of the firm’s overall revenue. Continue reading “New tricks – Can law firms beat New Law disruptors at their own game?”

Our corporate soul – Defining the values of a law firm

Richard Foley

‘If your boss demands loyalty, give him integrity. But if he demands integrity, then give him loyalty.’
USAF Colonel John Boyd, quoted in Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram

‘Our objectives are… to achieve the highest order of excellence in the practice of the art, the science and the profession of the law; through such practice to earn a living and to derive the stimulation and pleasure of worthwhile adventure.’
Judge Simon Rifkind, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, 1963 Continue reading “Our corporate soul – Defining the values of a law firm”

Cross-border M&A: Asian bidders usher in different mindset

Sonya Rogerson

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: It has been a record period for Asian activity into Europe. How do you see the general trends?

Abhijit Mukhopadhyay, Hinduja Group: China is an issue, because the main difference between the Asian companies, European companies and Chinese companies is that Chinese companies are directly or indirectly state-owned. Continue reading “Cross-border M&A: Asian bidders usher in different mindset”

Firms pile into fast-moving corporate crime sphere but is there enough work to keep all hands busy?

Ali Sallaway

 

Georgina Stanley and Anna Cole-Bailey assess a highly competitive sector in flux

Tesco, Rolls-Royce, Unaoil, Greenergy – as companies face increasing scrutiny of their governance and anti-corruption procedures, the number of law firms striving to corner the lucrative white-collar/corporate crime market shows no sign of abating. Continue reading “Firms pile into fast-moving corporate crime sphere but is there enough work to keep all hands busy?”

Sponsored briefing: Punching above weight

Richard Baxter (left) and Richard King
You’ve both been at the firm for more than 25 years. What have been your highlights?

Richard King (RK), managing partner, Stevens & Bolton: I’m in my third year as managing partner and speaking as a manager, rather than a litigator, the highlight is our ongoing evolution. There’s a real sense that we’ve never stood still, and yet, for all that we’ve evolved, the foundations have been there from the beginning. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Punching above weight”

LB100 Overview: Apocalypse soon?

red sky

As Legal Business was unpacking the 2018/19 financial results of the UK’s top 100 law firms, the Office for National Statistics reported that Britain’s economy had shrunk for the first time since 2012. The 0.2% fall in output in the second quarter of 2019 was the latest in a series of ominous signs for a nation that appears, at the time of writing, on course for a cliff-edge exit from the European Union amid a chaotic political landscape and falling currency.

As Legal Business went to press, a row was raging over government moves to prorogue Parliament in the run-up to the 31 October deadline to exit the EU, threatening constitutional wrangles and a no-deal Brexit. A nation famed for exporting democracy, its strong institutions and a stable business environment is looking more Banana Republic than Britannia resurgent by the day. Continue reading “LB100 Overview: Apocalypse soon?”