The last word: A period of drama

The last word: A period of drama

From living with Brexit to harnessing technology, Legal Business 100 leaders state what must be done to thrive

HARD CHOICES NECESSARY

‘We’ve been building on our strengths and worrying less about the things we don’t do but other firms do. We’ve been forced to make choices that we didn’t have to ten years ago because it isn’t viable anymore to do everything or pretend to do everything. Not even the Magic Circle can do that. It is about identifying where you want to play and focusing on that.’

Jeremy Hoyland, managing partner, Simmons & Simmons Continue reading “The last word: A period of drama”

Brexit government department spent £3.7m in legal costs in year since EU referendum

Brexit government department spent £3.7m in legal costs in year since EU referendum

The government department for exiting the European Union (DExEU) has spent £3.7m in legal costs since it was set up last summer, the most significant area of expenditure for DExEU after overall staff costs of £14m.

A government report published on Wednesday (19 July) revealed that DExEU cost taxpayers £1.2m in legal fees for the cases brought against the government, including that on triggering of Article 50, which formally started the UK’s withdrawal process from the European Union (EU). Continue reading “Brexit government department spent £3.7m in legal costs in year since EU referendum”

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?”

UK law will remain ‘attuned to the demands of international business’: Lord Neuberger speaks up for London’s prospective status post-Brexit

UK law will remain ‘attuned to the demands of international business’: Lord Neuberger speaks up for London’s prospective status post-Brexit

Lord Neuberger, president of the UK Supreme Court, has defended London’s prospective status as a legal hub in the international sphere after Brexit, in a 3 July speech in London.

Continue reading “UK law will remain ‘attuned to the demands of international business’: Lord Neuberger speaks up for London’s prospective status post-Brexit”

‘Moving target’: Queen’s Speech outlines new national legal framework as Brexit dominates Tory agenda

‘Moving target’: Queen’s Speech outlines new national legal framework as Brexit dominates Tory agenda

The Queen’s Speech today (21 June) has largely confirmed the prime ministers’ focus on Brexit, with new national legislation and reforms to the domestic legal framework, although the list of bills will remain a ‘moving target’.

Continue reading “‘Moving target’: Queen’s Speech outlines new national legal framework as Brexit dominates Tory agenda”

Election comment – Many a slip between cup and hardcore Brexit

Election comment – Many a slip between cup and hardcore Brexit

For my sins I committed Legal Business to a lengthy piece on the 2015 general election, focusing on the policies impacting the City, business and law, back in an era that now seems a decade away. You may remember that one: the Conservatives were to deliver stability against those Labour mavericks on the assumption that its pledged Brexit referendum was in the bag. Continue reading “Election comment – Many a slip between cup and hardcore Brexit”

Royaume-Uni, nil points: why the true Eurovision is independence

Royaume-Uni, nil points: why the true Eurovision is independence

Compiling our second annual Euro Elite report this month reminded me of when the late Rodrigo Uría, then managing partner of Spanish leader Uría Menéndez, recounted how he ended a heated meeting with Linklaters’ irascible former managing partner Terence Kyle by pointing out the armed guards at the entrance to his firm’s Madrid office. Back in the late 1990s, the UK elite was desperate to get into Europe. Emotions ran high.

With Brexit, the UK now wants out (the legal profession less so). But in the Continental market you could argue the English firms have been in withdrawal mode for years. Although the buccaneering expansion across the region in the 1990s and early 2000s means firms with Anglo-Saxon origin are ubiquitous, few dominate. With the exception of France, where the locals have potent competition, and the Netherlands, where Allen & Overy became a major force (by force), Global 100 firms rarely compete at the top level. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a leader in Germany, but by virtue of the only merger of equals between a European and an English firm, and even it is currently looking to strip down its local practice to bolster profitability. The Magic Circle has been on some level of modest reversal in Germany for a decade now.

Continue reading “Royaume-Uni, nil points: why the true Eurovision is independence”

‘It’s not rocket science’: Investor-state arbitrators wary of post-Brexit landscape

‘It’s not rocket science’: Investor-state arbitrators wary of post-Brexit landscape

Tom Baker reports on a busy period despite case volume falling in 2016

Despite growing investor-state arbitration caseloads over the last five years, City international arbitration partners are uneasy about the impact of Brexit and anti-globalisation sentiment on their business.

Continue reading “‘It’s not rocket science’: Investor-state arbitrators wary of post-Brexit landscape”