Irresistible forces

Irresistible forces

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: Looking at the top of the market, how is buying behaviour changing?

Donny Ching, Royal Dutch Shell: I see increasing sophistication in sourcing legal services. I am sure you all have experienced tenders and reverse tenders. More corporates are looking at using different tools, also driven by the contracting and procurement [C&P] organisation. Procuring legal services used to be the last bastion, where C&P could not touch. That is changing. We hired our own pricing analyst sourcing officer a couple of years ago. He has done phenomenal work and opened our eyes to what is possible. Continue reading “Irresistible forces”

The Global 100: The European question – Have years of cuts left the Magic Circle exposed as Brexit looms?

The Global 100: The European question – Have years of cuts left the Magic Circle exposed as Brexit looms?

 

London’s top firms have been quietly retrenching for years in mainland Europe. As Brexit looms, where has that left the Magic Circle?

‘Welcome to Europe, the haven of legal certainty,’ quips Burkhart Goebel, Hogan Lovells’ managing partner for continental Europe. Continue reading “The Global 100: The European question – Have years of cuts left the Magic Circle exposed as Brexit looms?”

The Global 100 2017

The Global 100 2017

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The Global 100 overview: Atlas shrugged

The Global 100 overview: Atlas shrugged

Political shocks, gyrating currencies and choppy markets – it has been yet another testing year for the Global 100. Legal Business looks at those shouldering the burden and those buckling under

Twelve months ago, the global legal community was reeling from the shock UK referendum result to leave the EU. Senior industry leaders shook their heads and predicted even more turbulent markets in what was already an uncertain global economy.

Continue reading “The Global 100 overview: Atlas shrugged”

The Global 100: The Zone – The US elite turns up the pressure

The Global 100: The Zone – The US elite turns up the pressure

The gap between top US firms and the middle-tier masses continues to widen as pressure to secure top-decile talent intensifies. Can the chasing pack keep up with America’s elite?

‘The competition is frenetic in terms of attracting talent as is the competition in being retained on the most complex and sophisticated client mandates,’ notes Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison chair Brad Karp. ‘When you think of the continuum with commoditised work on one end and hyper-complex big-ticket work on the other, firms like ours try very hard to ensure that 90% of work is in that tiny zone at the end of the spectrum.’

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A grinding year for the Global 100 as US leaders assert dominance

A grinding year for the Global 100 as US leaders assert dominance

Casting an eye over the results for the world’s 100 largest law firms, 2016/17 has been the definition of grinding out a result. Not a pretty result at that.

The group as a whole hiked revenues 3% to $98.82bn, pretty much tracking the increase in lawyer numbers. In part due to the strength of the dollar, there are some surprising results. The number of $2bn-plus law firms has fallen from ten to eight (thanks to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters). The number of $1bn-plus firms falls from 35 to 34. Consolidation continues to be a force in the industry but almost exclusively in the global mid-tier, not its upper echelons.

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‘It’s the clothes on top that matter’: how much does structure affect the Swiss Verein firms?

‘It’s the clothes on top that matter’: how much does structure affect the Swiss Verein firms?

DLA Piper, the world’s second-largest Swiss Verein-structured law firm, saw global turnover in 2016 drop 3% to $2.47bn from $2.54bn. The drop in overall revenue was attributed by the firm to exchange rate fluctuations across the global firm’s international business, which is divided between an international LLP and a US LLP. In sterling, DLA says, turnover was up 3%.

Similarly, Norton Rose Fulbright saw turnover drop 3% to $1.69bn, with the firm again attributing the performance to currency fluctuations. In a statement, a spokesperson said the firm had seen a 3% increase on 2015 revenue using like-for-like exchange rates, adding: ‘Our stated US dollar figures are very susceptible to currency exchange moves and, in the past year, the sterling, euro, Australian/Canadian dollars and South African rand experienced significant negative moves against the US dollar.’

Continue reading “‘It’s the clothes on top that matter’: how much does structure affect the Swiss Verein firms?”