Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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”

Guest post: Sorry tech apostles – law firms do get Twitter (that’s the whole problem)

Guest post: Sorry tech apostles – law firms do get Twitter (that’s the whole problem)

People occasionally ask me if I tweet (I don’t) and what role I think Twitter has in law firm marketing (none).

I probably owe an explanation.

I believe Twitter has always been a niche service and always will be; it will never go mainstream in the way that (say) Facebook or LinkedIn has. Continue reading “Guest post: Sorry tech apostles – law firms do get Twitter (that’s the whole problem)”

The student view: Davis Polk’s Will Pearce talks deal lawyering at Wall Street’s finest

The student view: Davis Polk’s Will Pearce talks deal lawyering at Wall Street’s finest

London may have caught New York-based giant Davis Polk & Wardwell’s eye as early as 1973, but it’s only two years ago that the firm’s UK office launched an English law practice, following the January 2012 hire of former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner Simon Witty and tax partner Jonathan Cooklin. Continue reading “The student view: Davis Polk’s Will Pearce talks deal lawyering at Wall Street’s finest”

Guest post: A cannon fodder shortage looms as LPC and trainee numbers head for market over-correction

Guest post: A cannon fodder shortage looms as LPC and trainee numbers head for market over-correction

Nigel Hudson has written an interesting post on LPC numbers. He says (among other things):

‘The number of students enrolled on full-time LPCs has shrunk by 8.4% this year. In 2012/13 enrolments fell 4%, so the trend is downward and falling fast.

In all, 5,198 students enrolled with the 27 LPC providers for 2013/2014, according to data from the Central Applications Board, the admissions service for full-time LPC and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) applicants.’ Continue reading “Guest post: A cannon fodder shortage looms as LPC and trainee numbers head for market over-correction”

Guest blog – Securities lawyers and sticky contracts: innovation and elite law

I am sure you, like me, have been on the lookout for an elegant, readable, sophisticated and fairly short book about sovereign debt agreements. And one that happens to end as a critique of elite legal practice. And here it is, The Three and a Half Minute Transaction: boilerplate and the limits of contract design by Professors Gulati and Scott. It blends economic and behavioural theory, history and law, qualitative and quantitative data with solid and measured arguments. Continue reading “Guest blog – Securities lawyers and sticky contracts: innovation and elite law”