London office headcount: 69 lawyers, 19 partners
Fee-earner headcount change since 2011: n/a
London head: Tim Frazer
Office speciality: Life sciences, dispute resolution, telecommunications, white-collar crime Continue reading “Focus: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer”
Georgiana Tudor assesses the New York-headquartered firm’s sluggish development
Like all major global law firms, Shearman & Sterling has had its reverses in recent years, albeit a few more than most. The fundamental question that has dogged the firm in Wall Street, London and Germany, is whether this proud US outfit is prepared to move quickly and decisively enough to convincingly get past those setbacks.
Continue reading “Can Shearman finally get ahead of the curve after 15 years of diminishing returns?”
Matthew Field and Victoria Young talk to Taylor Wessing head Tim Eyles and assess the firm’s prospects
‘When Tim Eyles took over there was a sea change,’ says one Taylor Wessing partner of their firm’s high-profile UK managing partner. ‘What you need as a leader is clear vision and Tim’s vision of how important it is to be global and focused and to have a culture that recognises achievement is key.’
Continue reading “No more Taylor Who? Flair and a bit of vision take Taylor Wessing to next step but what now?”
Victoria Young talks to veteran chief David Kerr about growing pains and going even more global
There’s no doubt chief executive David Kerr has overseen a rapid extension of Bird & Bird’s international reach, with additions ranging from a major takeover in Australia, to acquisitions in Denmark, and associations around the Asia-Pacific region. But for Kerr – re-elected in March for another three-year term after spending two decades as chief executive – a new priority is consolidating and tightening the firm’s focus as it comes off a flat 12 months in a crowded mid-market.
Continue reading “David made Goliath – Kerr on Bird & Bird’s re-invention as a leading global TMT shop”
Victoria Young speaks to the management duo about the transformed mid-market player
‘We’ll be the first to admit the firm of five years ago wasn’t delivering what the partners wanted,’ says Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick. In 2012, Legal Business took a close look at Field Fisher Waterhouse and at the time the mid-market law firm was desperate for a suitor. Three years, two failed merger talks and several high-profile partner exits later, and Fieldfisher has undergone a reboot far beyond its change of name.
Continue reading “‘We needed to move on’: Why Fieldfisher has turned its back on the dating game”
Michael West talks to the Australian PI giant about its eventful Quindell acquisition
After over three months of intensive due diligence that saw Slater & Gordon (S&G) reconstruct the accounts of Quindell’s Professional Services Division (PSD) following accusations of dubious accounting, both sides agreed a £637m deal, which is expected to close this month, that will see S&G acquire the division and bolster its share of the UK’s highly competitive £2.5bn personal injury (PI) market.
Continue reading “The £637m bet – Slater & Gordon on its daring play in UK’s personal injury market”
Sarah Downey assesses the post-merger state of NRF’s dispute resolution practice
With Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF)’s eye-catching union now over a year old, the top ten UK firm has achieved the enviable feat of creating, through a succession of global bolt-ons, a 3,800-lawyer firm with $1.9bn in revenue, almost without fallout.
Its 138-fee-earner (excluding trainees) City dispute resolution practice is something of an exception, having lost a handful of its star players, including Dorian Drew, adviser to ex-Barclays’ chief executive Bob Diamond on the Libor scandal, who last year left for Clifford Chance.
Continue reading “Silver linings playbook: can Norton Rose Fulbright bring its disputes team into the global elite?”
Sarah Downey reports on the property leader’s attempts to position itself.
With its five-year financial performance standing out as one of the worst of the top 50 in last year’s LB100 and at least one abandoned merger talk under its belt, Nabarro is perceived by a number of clients and rivals as a firm in need of change.
Heavily dependent on a mixture of high-end but also commoditised property work, the firm has dropped down the UK legal rankings from its 2008 high, when it stood in 23rd place on the back of a revenue increase of 16% to £142.4m.
Continue reading “Always a bridesmaid: can Nabarro revive itself post-Lehman without a partner?”
Reckless ambition, inept management and greed: a case study in how not to run a law firm
In February 2009, this magazine published a cover feature charting Halliwells’ dramatic fall from grace. Entitled ‘The Flight of Icarus’ (see LB191), it revealed how, through what proved to be a fatal combination of reckless ambition, ineptitude and greed, the firm’s management had scuppered what formerly ranked as one of the UK’s fastest growing and most promising names.
Thanks to a series of ill-judged strategic decisions – such as a controversial property deal that saw the equity partners share a secret £15m kickback – Halliwells had, in the space of a few short years, gone from being debt-free to teetering on the brink of financial collapse.
Continue reading “Rest in pieces”