The Last Word: The values are everything

The Last Word: The values are everything

Law firm leaders discuss the challenges of putting values on their corporate agenda and how to balance purpose with the profit motive

Heads out of the sand

‘Most firms realise the importance of values. I don’t think I’ve spoken to a single managing partner who isn’t doing these things. There are two basic drivers – what are your clients asking of you and what are your people asking of you. Anyone who thinks this isn’t important is burying their head in the sand.’
Continue reading “The Last Word: The values are everything”

The Last Word: Sound methods

The Last Word: Sound methods

No-deal Brexit, accountants, Millennials and soothsaying – LB100 leaders give their views on a hazy 12 months ahead

Change is gonna come

‘You cannot continue having 10-15% growth every year – not even the Chinese economy has achieved that! The profession as a whole has had a good year, but the rate of growth has slowed down. The comforting factor is that every single business is in the same place as us. We are all doing our best to protect and predict. Anyone who tells you what’s going to happen… well, that’s just guesswork.’ Continue reading “The Last Word: Sound methods”

The Last Word: New frontiers

The Last Word: New frontiers

Despite Brexit, Trump and trade wars signalling a tentative prognosis from Global 100 leaders for the remainder of the year, many firms entered 2019 with engines blazing

No clarity

‘Volatility, trade wars, Brexit and Trump notwithstanding, it’s been a good financial year. Each of our practice areas are strong in terms of work and economically. Mandates are flowing in, it’s a positive story. Threats are out there. Brexit will be priced into the market for the next eight to ten years. There will be peaks and troughs and no clarity for a while.’ Continue reading “The Last Word: New frontiers”

The Last Word: Elite forces

The Last Word: Elite forces

As part of our annual Euro Elite report, management at independent firms in Europe give their views on today’s market challenges

International focus

‘In 2017 we had a record performance. 2018 was a year of big investment to consolidate our development in Africa and the Middle East but we did it halfway through the year. We are going to continue and consolidate our strategy. A lot of attention and energy will be on the international development. Our strategy is still to become a leader in the Mediterranean area, Africa and the Middle East. For now we are optimistic but from the second half of 2018 we have seen a decrease of investment in M&A.’ Continue reading “The Last Word: Elite forces”

The Last Word – Best foot forward

The Last Word – Best foot forward

As bellwether Forsters opens the 2018/19 financial reporting season in the UK announcing steady revenue growth, we ask law firm leaders for a progress report

A decent year

‘We don’t have an enormous exposure to M&A. It makes up about 10% of our business, but the sense is people are getting used to the new normal. No one really knows what is going on with Brexit, but they’re just getting on with it and there are deals out there. I dislike the phrase cautious optimism, but it’s been a decent year. The challenge for firms will be finding active clients; we have been looking further afield than we would have done years ago.’

Paul Roberts, managing partner, Forsters Continue reading “The Last Word – Best foot forward”

The Last Word – Global London perspectives from inside the shark tank

The Last Word – Global London perspectives from inside the shark tank

To mark the launch of our 2019 Global London report, we ask senior management at the leading US firms in London for a progress update

Brexitproof

‘Milbank does not just have stellar transactional practices: a very significant component of the London office are countercyclical businesses such as restructuring and litigation. They are among the strongest performers. At some point the economy may deteriorate, but we have positioned ourselves to thrive in good and bad conditions.’

Julian Stait, London co-managing partner, Milbank Continue reading “The Last Word – Global London perspectives from inside the shark tank”

The Last Word: Opportunity knocks

The Last Word: Opportunity knocks

The deal market tailed off at the end of 2018 after a generally resilient year. Here we ask the City’s leading corporate players for their prognosis on 2019

Powder dry

‘2018 started with a bang, but overall it was a tale of two halves. With competition for assets pushing valuations to eye-watering levels, investor fatigue and a degree of scepticism around the value-creating potential of M&A also took a toll. Looking forward to 2019, many of the factors that supported activity last year remain relevant. These include global growth, strong balance sheets, affordable debt and plenty of dry PE powder. But it’s hard to see 2019 topping 2018. We don’t expect a major correction, but we do anticipate a dip.’
Bob Bishop, co-chair of corporate, DLA Piper Continue reading “The Last Word: Opportunity knocks”

The Last Word: The clients’ view

The Last Word: The clients’ view

Interviewed for our in-house lawyer survey, some leading general counsel give their views on ethics, law firm engagement and technology

Great expectations

‘There’s no question that stakeholders and the population at large have higher expectations of ethical conduct by companies and that this is only going to increase. Some of that will manifest itself as greater regulation. In-house functions play a greater role in ethical matters. It’s not just advising on legal issues – in-house functions can play a leading role in ensuring companies continue to follow the ethical path.’
Richard Price, group general counsel, Anglo American Continue reading “The Last Word: The clients’ view”

The Last Word: The hard path to enlightenment

The Last Word: The hard path to enlightenment

As part of our autumn tech special, we asked partners, innovation heads and CIOs to give a pragmatic take on the state of law firm tech

Just do it

‘In the next year or two, people will stop talking about AI and just use it. AI will just be embedded in the way firms work – like computers or emails. I don’t think in the long term we’ll have the situation where AI alone gives some firms a sustainable competitive advantage over others.’
Kevin Harris, director of IT, Taylor Wessing Continue reading “The Last Word: The hard path to enlightenment”

The Last Word: One way or another

The Last Word: One way or another

From retaining talent to going public, LB100 leaders give their take on how to survive in an age of disruption

Go big

‘The markets are pretty buoyant in terms of legal services despite all the economic and political disruption out there. It was a particularly good year if you are global and full service. Anecdotally, I talk to lots of managing partners and the firms that have had a harder time I tend to think of as being quite niche or quite local to a particular country or market. The broader you can be geographically and from a service point of view, the better you’ve done.’
Simon Levine, global co-chief executive and managing partner, DLA Piper Continue reading “The Last Word: One way or another”