Comment: A personality crisis and the great WFH salary cut brouhaha

Comment: A personality crisis and the great WFH salary cut brouhaha

Hasn’t what I’m snappily calling ‘Stephenson Harwood WFH pay cut-gate’ caused a furore?

In case you’ve missed it, the RollOnFriday report that the City firm is offering staff the option to work from home full time – but with a 20% salary reduction – has sparked righteous indignation, the level  of which has not been seen since… forever. Continue reading “Comment: A personality crisis and the great WFH salary cut brouhaha”

Leader: Now more than ever, succession is paramount

Leader: Now more than ever, succession is paramount

Truism alert – talent, especially in the ultra-competitive world of dealmaking, has never been in such high demand. It is interesting that, while this statement has been wheeled out ad infinitum to the point of becoming a platitude, the component parts of what constitutes legal talent are rarely analysed.

Continue reading “Leader: Now more than ever, succession is paramount”

Guest comment: The new differentiator for law firms?

Guest comment: The new differentiator for law firms?

A quiet revolution is happening, and I am here to champion it. For many years, the role of a professional support lawyer (PSL) or knowledge lawyer has been viewed as an optional extra, a ‘nice to have’, something that only a magic circle law firm could possibly justify. If this is what you think, then it’s time to update your precedent. PSLs have become a key differentiator as firms look to benefit not only from their legal experience but also their business acumen.

The PSL role was created back in the 1990s to support a firm’s practice by drafting and maintaining standard form precedents. At the time there was little in the way of legal databases or online research tools and PSLs became the focal point for this activity as well. However, while this remains a central part of the role, the functions of a PSL have evolved. Continue reading “Guest comment: The new differentiator for law firms?”

Guest comment: ESG, the war for talent and the GC

Guest comment: ESG, the war for talent and the GC

Evangelos Apostolou of the EMEA and Asia-Pacific In-House Counsel group at Major, Lindsey & Africa discusses why demand for ESG-ready in-house talent will continue to grow.

For many, the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement, which is estimated to move past $50trn of assets globally by 2025, represents a generational opportunity to use the power of capital markets to transform the world. Perhaps even to save it. However, for others, ESG proponents naively confuse philanthropy with the fiduciary duty to maximise return on investment. Continue reading “Guest comment: ESG, the war for talent and the GC”

Comment: Why giving associates exposure to clients could be a win-win scenario

Comment: Why giving associates exposure to clients could be a win-win scenario

Law firms spend big money making sure they have the best junior lawyers. A newly qualified lawyer at a Magic Circle firm can expect to take home over £100,000 a year.

But what do clients really think of those highly paid associates? Continue reading “Comment: Why giving associates exposure to clients could be a win-win scenario”

Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

‘This level of scrutiny of governance is quite unusual. Historically in deals of this kind, no-one ever used to ask: “What’s going to happen to the workers?” It is becoming more and more of an issue as companies seek to avoid reputational damage.’

The words of Paul Watchman, ESG luminary, senior UN legal adviser and former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner on the proposed £6.3bn takeover of UK supermarket giant Morrisons resonate as the deal looks set not only to become one of the biggest public to private transactions of the decade, but also to enshrine a playbook for ESG in years to come. Continue reading “Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private”

Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave

Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave

Nathan Peart, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, says firms must move with the times when it comes to arrangements for prospective parents

Parental leave continues to be a conversation at the forefront of law firm policy development, but it still has a long way to go to reflect the modern norm. As firms examine the changes in the way we work and develop policy that reflects local customs but still aligns with a firm’s ethos, it is also important to remember the people at the centre of this policy – prospective parents. Continue reading “Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave”