Leader

Leader

The launch of Legal Business’s debut Disputes Yearbook is just one of many signs of how dramatically the dynamics of the global law game have changed over the last decade. While our lead article, Martial Law, assesses whether the dramatic rise of the contentious lawyer has reached a post-Lehman plateau, there is no sign of litigation returning to the near backwater it was becoming at many City firms in the early 2000s.

It’s possible that a stabilising global economy will have an impact on this counter-cyclical business, but in truth pure crisis-related commercial disputes work has under-shot expectations and manifested with a greater time lag than many expected.

As such, many of the underlying factors strengthening the hand of contentious lawyers such as increasingly proactive regulation and enforcement, the rise of global arbitration in a multi-polar world and the relative patchiness of M&A and securities work show no signs of abating.

Glancing at the headline financials on the litigation teams at major commercial law firms, it’s obvious that it is now common for disputes teams to exceed firm-wide profitability by a good margin, probably in part because litigation teams rarely benefited from the over-investment seen in corporate practices at firms with delusions of M&A grandeur. Continue reading “Leader”

Perspectives: Simon Davis, Clifford Chance

Perspectives: Simon Davis, Clifford Chance

When I was at school trying to figure out what to study at university, the school organised a series of individuals to give us a talk. They were all fine – from major multinationals and different industries – but none of them made me think: ‘Wow, this is what I want to do with my life.’ It wasn’t until a solicitor from Woking turned up – a specialist in criminal law – and he was hilarious. He was the only one who was enormously enjoying what he was doing. That was the first inkling that work could be enjoyable.

You wonder about becoming a solicitor or a barrister. I knew if I went the barrister route – which would have worked quite well since I like the sound of my own voice – if I failed as a barrister, I would be stony broke. If I failed as a solicitor, at least I could pay my expenses along the way. Also, the barrister profession can be quite a solitary existence compared to solicitors meeting clients. My personality led me to being a solicitor. I made the right choice. Continue reading “Perspectives: Simon Davis, Clifford Chance”