Whatever happened to PRIME? – Drift sets in for once lauded diversity project

Whatever happened to PRIME? – Drift sets in for once lauded diversity project

Thomas Alan assesses the initially lauded, now forgotten social inclusion initiative

‘Forgive my ignorance, can you tell me what you mean by PRIME? What is it exactly?’ asks one partner at a top-25 UK law firm, a partner charged with responsibility for overseeing apprenticeships at a firm with membership to that same cross-industry group. Continue reading “Whatever happened to PRIME? – Drift sets in for once lauded diversity project”

Still more promise than delivery but Paul Hastings shows signs of progress

Still more promise than delivery but Paul Hastings shows signs of progress

Thomas Alan assesses the fortunes of the US giant after a (relatively) expansive 2018

Paul Hastings’ recent London history could be seen as a story of tempered ambitions. In the mid-2000s, the firm talked about hitting 200 lawyers in the City, while in 2012 the hope was to be at around 140 lawyers by 2016. With lawyer headcount only reaching 100 this year, it is clear that those lofty ambitions are hard to realise. However, between 2012 and 2017, the firm’s City headcount increased by 78%. If you aim high, falling short does not mean disaster. Continue reading “Still more promise than delivery but Paul Hastings shows signs of progress”

Legal tech focus: Slaughters’ tech ally Luminance makes impact but battle for City elite wages

Legal tech focus: Slaughters’ tech ally Luminance makes impact but battle for City elite wages

Luminance has shot to prominence unlike any other UK legal tech start-up. But Hamish McNicol finds there is still plenty to do to break into the top of the profession

‘We’re changing things to the extent Excel changed the way accounting is done,’ Luminance chief executive Emily Foges proclaims. ‘You can’t imagine doing anything financial without it.’ Continue reading “Legal tech focus: Slaughters’ tech ally Luminance makes impact but battle for City elite wages”

Legal tech focus: Is Kira the real deal?

Legal tech focus: Is Kira the real deal?

AI contract analysis system Kira has been on a trying journey. Having landed $50m in funding, Hamish McNicol and Thomas Alan assess how much longer that journey could last

Noah Waisberg recently threw a diamond into an audience of more than 1,000 people. It was the annual Legal Geek legal tech conference in London. Public Enemy’s Don’t Believe the Hype blared as he took the stage. Continue reading “Legal tech focus: Is Kira the real deal?”

Under the influence – how pressure to climb the ladder can corrupt in-house counsel

Under the influence – how pressure to climb the ladder can corrupt in-house counsel

Being risk savvy and commercially aware is the equivalent of ‘leaning in’ for today’s in-house lawyer. Can one do this and retain the mantle of professionalism? Or rather, how can one do that? That is the central concern of our book, In-House Lawyers’ Ethics: Institutional Logics, Legal Risk and the Tournament of Influence. We interviewed dozens of in-house lawyers and surveyed 400, mainly from business but also from government and the third sector, to shed light on the ethical dimensions of in-house practice and risk management. Our central lessons? Organisations matter. Individual lawyers matter. Ideas about the in-house role and professionalism matter. Talking about professionalism and good decision making openly and frankly matters.

The usual academic analysis of in-house lawyers dwells on concerns that in-house counsel are business people first and lawyers a distant second, but we think other questions are more important and useful. In particular, we are interested in how in-house roles and practitioner mindsets about those roles influence their ethical inclination. When we work with in-house teams using the tools in our book, they are often astonished at the different views they and their colleagues have about what in-house lawyers should be like; how they draw on ideas of professionalism; and how to deal with ethical dilemmas. Gordon Gekko can be lurking in the most surprising of places. Continue reading “Under the influence – how pressure to climb the ladder can corrupt in-house counsel”

Reports of the death of CC’s sponsor practice prove exaggerated but surviving isn’t thriving

Reports of the death of CC’s sponsor practice prove exaggerated but surviving isn’t thriving

Marco Cillario finds much more substance to CC’s PE business than the usual critique but stopping managed relative decline will only get harder

‘Look at the team they had in the mid-2000s: strong personalities, industry leaders, primary advisers to any significant private equity house. There has never been a team that strong in Europe. They failed to bring through any meaningful succession.’ Continue reading “Reports of the death of CC’s sponsor practice prove exaggerated but surviving isn’t thriving”

Keystone becomes second UK law firm to float in 2017 while Gordon Dadds goes shopping

Keystone becomes second UK law firm to float in 2017 while Gordon Dadds goes shopping

Recently listed Gordon Dadds acquires tax advisory business CW Energy

November saw New Law player Keystone Law become the third UK law firm to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), following the trail blazed by Gateley two years ago and Gordon Dadds earlier this year. The mid-market challenger firm, which was granted an alternative business structure (ABS) licence in 2013, saw shares priced at 160p and raised £15m from its initial public offering (IPO). It will be known as Keystone Law Group plc. Continue reading “Keystone becomes second UK law firm to float in 2017 while Gordon Dadds goes shopping”

Solid foundations but a struggle to build – Can BLP regain the confidence of its 2000s heyday?

Solid foundations but a struggle to build – Can BLP regain the confidence of its 2000s heyday?

Last year did not run smoothly for Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). Merger talks with Greenberg Traurig publicly fell apart amid some acrimony, while the City firm’s revenues dipped 2% in the 2015/16 year, making it one of the few Legal Business 100 players to see its top line slide.

Even before that, BLP had been through a factional election in 2015 which elevated employment specialist Lisa Mayhew as its new managing partner, while gripes over a disastrous run of partner hires on guaranteed pay deals several years previously have still not been forgotten.

Continue reading “Solid foundations but a struggle to build – Can BLP regain the confidence of its 2000s heyday?”

Focus: Gide Loyrette Nouel

Focus: Gide Loyrette Nouel

Lawyer headcount 503

Partners 104

Revenue €190m (-1%)

Offices Paris, Brussels, London, Warsaw, Moscow, Istanbul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, New York, Algiers, Casablanca, and Tunis.

Key clients BNP Paribas, Eni, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale, LVMH

Managing partner Stéphane Puel (pictured)

Recent work highlights Advising DCNS on a €32bn programme for the design and construction of Australia’s future submarines; advising Veolia Environnement on the first issue of €2bn Panda bonds; and advising Agence des participations de l’État on the €2bn+ privatisation of Nice and Lyon airports. Continue reading “Focus: Gide Loyrette Nouel”

Focus: Hengeler Mueller

Focus: Hengeler Mueller

Lawyer headcount 264

Partners 90

Revenue €257m (+6%)

Offices Berlin, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Shanghai

Key clients General Electric, KKR, METRO, RWE, Siemens

Managing partners Dirk Bliesener, Georg Seyfarth

Recent work highlights Advising RWE on the €5bn IPO of innogy on the Frankfurt stock exchange – the largest IPO since 2000 and the fourth largest in German history; advising KKR on its acquisition of Airbus Defence Electronics Business Companies; Linde on its merger with Praxair.

Continue reading “Focus: Hengeler Mueller”