Survival of the fittest

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RBS’s James Tsolakis on why law firms must adapt

On so many levels, the business of law is changing and the velocity of change has never been greater. These changes are creating unforeseen tensions within law firms and they challenge some of the fundamental principles that have historically defined the legal profession in the UK, a profession characterised by a tradition of conservatism and consistency, which are both foundations on which the enduring stability of the profession was founded. Continue reading “Survival of the fittest”

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

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Law firms have work to do to keep up with market shifts in the post-Lehman world. Here, leading legal industry figures chart the progress so far at a debate organised by Graham Gill.

In December, recruitment consultants Graham Gill hosted the latest in its series of breakfast round tables, which bring together a roster of heavyweight figures from in-house and private practice to discuss the future of the legal profession.

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The Student View: Norton Rose Fulbright’s Jonathan Ball on forensics, IP and his route to law

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Jonathan Ball of Norton Rose Fulbright initially worked as a scientist before becoming a lawyer, and is now an Intellectual Property and Technology disputes partner. Here, Jonathan discusses his career and the nature of his work and offers some helpful tips for students and professionals from other careers who are interested in a career in law.

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The future of knowledge management: out of the library into the front line

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Ian Mason and Rob Martin of Thomson Reuters explore the new KM landscape.

What is knowledge management?

In its early days, some may have viewed knowledge management (KM) as a dry, back-office function. It was often confined to the law library (and predominantly practised there, away from the fee-earning frontline). Lawyers kept their precedents safely locked away in their files or drawers. They might be incentivised to share precedents in an annual precedent hunt with a bottle of champagne or similar prize for the best template produced. But that was as exciting as it got. Continue reading “The future of knowledge management: out of the library into the front line”

Guest post: ‘Seamless’? The unintended consequences of Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘combination’ argument

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A few weeks ago reports surfaced about a motion seeking to compel Norton Rose Fulbright to withdraw from representation of its client Duke University in a case brought against the university by the estate of John Wayne, which wants the right to market alcoholic beverages branded with Wayne’s ‘Duke’ nickname — a textbook trademark dispute.

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Achieving financial independence is so much easier if you create a plan

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Towry’s Chris Cole explains how they help legal partners achieve lifetime financial goals

Over the many years we have been working with law firms, we have found that partners typically have common aspirations from a financial point of view. Chief among these is usually the desire to become ‘financially independent’ – in other words, working out when enough is really enough to achieve the future they want for themselves and their families. However, legal partners are incredibly busy people and so they invariably do not have the time to personally put together a plan to help them achieve this goal.

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Guest post: Snake Hall – the games tax lawyers have played

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I recently finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, a truly brilliant novel about the ascent of Thomas Cromwell to political and legal power in Tudor England. There is something of the intrigue and drama of that in Confidence Games: Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry by Tanina Rostain and Milton C. Regan. The book is a detailed investigation of a series of abusive tax shelters in the US between 1994 and 2004 whereby Rostain and Regan say, ‘law firms, accounting firms, and financial institutions involved in the shelter industry… perpetrated fraud not only on the government but also on their own clients.’ Continue reading “Guest post: Snake Hall – the games tax lawyers have played”