Legal Business

DISSENT: A precarious professionalism

UCL’s Richard Moorhead argues the integrity and professionalism that City lawyers take for granted is all too easily swayed

The practice of law has flipped from vocation to business. Law firms and individual lawyers are measured explicitly in predominantly economic terms. Profit per equity partner (PEP) and other indicators trickle down firms through targets and bonuses. Hourly rates are the oil that greases this engine. Alongside that is the somewhat servile claim that lawyers are not deal breakers or pettifoggers, but business-focused advisers, and business-focused advisers for whom the client comes first.