There is a school of thought that the late 1980s and early 1990s proved singularly fertile ground for developing outstanding corporate lawyers. You can see the logic. The deregulation of Big Bang ushered in fresh investment, players and techniques and unleashed a wave of activity to be swiftly followed by the early 1990s’ recession.
Young corporate lawyers honed their skills by exposure to new ideas when times were good, only to sharpen their business-winning instincts and apply their abilities in volatile markets that demanded flexibility and flair. Certainly, the generation of M&A partners that came through during those formative years has cast its shadow over the profession for a long time. But those days are ending as these figures either move into c-suite roles, retire or join clients.