Legal Business

Law firms forced to prove their worth

Law firms forced to prove their worth

Panel reviews are a cut-throat business these days, even for firms like SNR Denton and Slaughter and May. The duo was recently evicted from the Land Securities legal panel after a year-long review by group general counsel and company secretary Adrian de Souza. It seems not even the big hitters are immune to facing the chop.

Legal Business

Herbies and Hogan Lovells win places on Land Securities panel

Land Securities has appointed Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells to its revamped legal panel following a year-long review that ended in January. The largest commercial property company in the UK now has nine external law firms on its roster.

Group general counsel and company secretary Adrian de Souza has organised his law firms into two main panels, with Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and Nabarro placed on panel A, while panel B comprises Dundas & Wilson and Herbert Smith Freehills. There is also an additional specialist panel that contains Allen & Overy for finance and Clifford Chance for corporate work.

Legal Business

Places up for grabs on FSA investigation panel

City law firms unimpeded by banking relationships will be seeking a place on a new Financial Services Authority (FSA) panel of external advisers to carry out investigations into financial institutions. The panel, which will be announced in spring next year, will comprise firms that will compile reports under section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA), also known as ‘skilled person’ reports, as part of the FSA’s drive towards a risk-based regulatory approach.

The FSA put out a tender questionnaire in October as part of its process to appoint the panel. The FSA will use firms on the panel when a financial services institution finds itself in trouble, using the reports to decide whether to fine or impose other sanctions.

Legal Business

Freebies needs to address profitability concerns from the get-go

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.

Legal Business

Breaking the Circle

Breaking the Circle

In 2002 LB made the bold move of placing Herbert Smith into the Magic Circle. But ten years on, has the firm kept up the pace?

What a difference a decade makes. In the April 2002 edition of LB, we sparked widespread debate when we placed Herbert Smith into the Magic Circle (see ‘Fellowship of the Circle’, LB123). We called it the ‘biggest change at the very top of the legal market since the merger of Clifford Turner and Coward Chance’ and praised the UK firm for its leading European corporate practice, its stellar financial performance and its successful challenge to the perception that it was a litigation-only firm.

Legal Business

Taking over

Taking over

Corporate trends were the talk of the hour at the third annual LB round table discussion in conjunction with McCann FitzGerald. But what does 2012 have in store for the corporate lawyer?

Creativity levels among global corporate lawyers appear to be at an all time high. With the eurozone crisis looming over the global M&A market, the new Takeover Code and the huge swathes of restructuring and refinancing work still to come through to the marketplace, never before have corporate lawyers had to think so differently.

Legal Business

The Real Estate We’re In

The Real Estate We’re In

It’s been a bleak few years for real estate departments but, after an active 2010 with some major headline deals, the London market is picking up as the regions remain in the doldrums. LB looks at a very different kind of property market

Got any advice for a budding young real estate lawyer? ‘Become an accountant,’ laughs veteran Herbert Smith real estate partner James Barnes, as he surveys the moribund UK property market.