Despite generally gloomy market conditions there were renewed signs of underlying confidence at top London firms with Clifford Chance (CC) joining its peers today (4 June) in announcing rises in associate and trainee pay and bonuses for the year ahead.
The firm is the last of the Magic Circle to announce pay changes across the board, adding an extra £2,000 to newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers’ pay packets, up to £63,500 from last year’s £61,500, a rise of 3%.
Two international firms with strong European practices and a core media focus, Bird & Bird and Olswang, have posted solid revenue increases for the 2012/13 financial year.
Bird & Bird has announced revenue growth of 6%, from £235m to £249m, marking 25 years of continuous growth. Profit figures are yet to be released although a firm spokesperson said that the expectation is that net profits will have risen again in 2012/13.
The performance was described by the firm as solid and in line with budget ‘in the face of challenging economic conditions in our major markets’.
How many times do you hear lawyers roll out the line about mergers having to be two-plus-two-makes-five? True in many regards. Getting bigger doesn’t make you better or necessarily solve structural and strategic issues and mergers are hard to pull off effectively.
But when it comes down to it, this truism has become pretty misleading in Law Firm Land 2013.
Because scale does indeed matter in law, all things being equal. Bigger firms have the economies of scale – and these advantages are only getting more important given the continual shift towards smaller and more process-driven panels.
Bingham McCutchen has expanded its transatlantic offering to European fund managers with the hire of Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) rated partner Thiha Tun, only weeks after seven White & Case funds lawyers joined in Tokyo.
Tun, who works with private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds, will join Bingham’s investment management practice in September, in line with the top 30 Legal Business Global 100’s firm’s stated ambition to bolster its international funds and financial regulatory capabilities.
DAC Beachcroft, Kennedys, Hill Dickinson, Browne Jacobson and Weightmans are among 14 firms to have won places on the NHS Litigation Authority’s (NHSLA) expanded services legal panel, with a total legal spend of around £400m over four years.
The body that deals with claims from patients who have been harmed whilst under the care of the NHS today announced the conclusion of its two-month procurement process across three sub-panels: clinical liability; non-clinical liability; and regulatory, health and disciplinary (RHD).
The acquisition by comparethemarket.com owners BGL Group of leading personal injury (PI) firm Minster Law last week should be seen as a sign that the PI market is far from in tatters, according to Minster Law’s chairman, Adrian Christmas.
Minster Law is one of the UK’s largest road traffic accident (RTA) personal injury practices, employing over 800 people and handling more than 40,000 personal injury claims in the last financial year, making it the largest outright sale of a UK firm to date.
International dispute resolution law firm Kennedys and rated aviation and aerospace outfit Gates and Partners have merged in a move designed to achieve ‘an even greater international platform’ and strengthen their offering to global insurance and reinsurance clients.
The merger, which went live on 1 June, will enable Kennedy’s to offer comprehensive legal support to the aviation sector including corporate and commercial, regulatory and competition, employment, finance, insurance and dispute resolution services. The merger will also give an expanded platform to the already international Gates team, which has offices in London, Brussels, Singapore and Dubai. The merged firm will be known as Kennedys and the new team will operate as Kennedys Aviation.
One of the most touted legal mergers of the last decade today (3 June) goes live with Norton Rose and US partner Fulbright & Jaworski unveiling a full governance team for the combined practice.
Norton Rose Fulbright confirmed the make-up of its global executive committee and group-wide supervisory board, with Fulbright managing partner Kenneth Stewart joining the executive committee.
Five partners from the Houston-based law firm join the 20-strong executive body, with six members on the oversight team.
Addleshaw Goddard today (31 May) became one of the first major UK law firms to announce its 2012/13 financial results, confirming that revenue has dipped by 2% to £167m against its previous financial year. The top 25 UK law firm saw profits per equity (PEP) partner edge up 2% to £457,000.
Despite the generally subdued outlook and weak demand in the UK market the performance will be viewed as disappointing for Addleshaws, which has struggled to achieve sustained growth over the last five years.
Eversheds has shaken up its sector focus as part of a series of measures introduced by management to adapt to changing client demand and the increased globalisation of legal services.
Following a three-year strategy review unveiled by chief executive Bryan Hughes in July last year, the top 10 UK firm is focusing heavily on increased integration and branding between its international offices and has this month created four new global sectors.