From our first ever in-house survey, released in October 2012, it was clear that the hourly rate is still very much alive and kicking. After years of calling for its demise, why do clients still accept it, and will it ever die?
One particularly interesting statistic emerged from our in-house survey last month: 33% of respondents said they felt law firms were not handling their work at the appropriate level. And the biggest losers in all of this? The senior associates. Continue reading “The appeal of the hourglass”
Last month, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton did something that it has only done once before – open two non-US offices in the same year. Seoul became the firm’s sixteenth office, launching just a month after Cleary opened its fifteenth office in Abu Dhabi. The only time the firm has previously opened two offices in a year was 1991 when it launched in Frankfurt and Moscow.
A clear message from last month’s LB100 report was that the merger of two firms that have ‘simply cuddled together for bodily warmth to escape the chill of the recession’ could be a defective strategy. However, it seems that the appetite for mergers between struggling firms in the mid-market shows no signs of slowing down. Continue reading “Panic has ramped up merger mania”
By the time you read this the Herbert Smith Freehills merger will be live – a firm with revenues of over $1.3bn and more than 2,300 lawyers.
After a difficult few years for Herbert Smith, will the merger be the right medicine for the firm? Well, it’s not a cure-all but it’s a good start.
There’s good news and bad news for law firms in our first-ever survey of in-house counsel this month. The good news is that clients need their external lawyers now more than ever. The bad news is they’ll need more effort from their firms for the same amount of money.
Over the past few months CMS Cameron McKenna’s managing partner Duncan Weston has been on a charm offensive. Through lunches and presentations, he has been trying to convince the legal press that the European-wide CMS network is not just a disparate alliance, but is in fact one firm, no different to, say, Norton Rose or Squire Sanders.
In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected US president; the Maastricht Treaty was signed and Legal Business published the financial data of 35 firms with revenues over £20m. Over the last 20 years, as the information age has developed, total revenues of the 100 largest law firms based in the UK have swelled from £2.7bn to £17.67bn, outperforming the domestic economy.
When we first published the gross fees of 35 leading firms with revenues over £20m in 1992, we were approaching the peak of the information age: the exponential rise of e-mail, the web and the mobile phone. Suddenly the way we went about our daily lives changed forever and we have rarely looked back. But as technology changed everything over the past two decades, the legal profession has remained a constant.
Ahead of our LB100 report next month, one merger is on the table that requires some hard choices now to be a future success.
Lawrence Graham (LG) has confirmed it is ‘evaluating a merger’ with City rival Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW). The deal would put the new firm comfortably in the top 25 of the LB100 with an expected turnover of over £150m. Continue reading “Tough decisions needed for LG/FFW”