LLP accounts: Clifford Chance leadership team pockets £16m following strong year

LLP accounts: Clifford Chance leadership team pockets £16m following strong year

The 13-strong executive leadership team at Clifford Chance (CC) took home £16m for the 2016/17 financial year, according to its latest LLP accounts filed with Companies House.

While the combined remuneration package is up 7% on the previous year, it represents only a slight per head increase on last year’s figure, where the 12-person executive received £15m. The firm’s 2014/15 accounts showed that leadership took home £14m, meaning the figure has increased in £1m increments for the past two years. Continue reading “LLP accounts: Clifford Chance leadership team pockets £16m following strong year”

Tough times, new entrants and mobile talent – A Legal Business year in review

Tough times, new entrants and mobile talent – A Legal Business year in review

It’s been another eventful year on the front lines of the City and global legal profession marked by mergers, expensive transfers of big-name partners and sharply-dividing fortunes of individual law firms. Underpinning this are ominous structural shifts in the industry thanks to changing buying behaviour and technology. A consultant friend of mine asked last week if I thought the profession was being complacent because dramatic change has yet to happen. My view is that the problem is not that change has yet to be felt, it is that it is clearly happening already but many prestigious law firms remain in denial.

Anyway, to chart a turbulent 2017, we took a quick look back through our coverage this year to pick out a few pieces that highlighted the key issues impacting the profession. We have divided the list below into a section on some of our set-piece features for subscribers and a second set of recommendations of shorter comment pieces that we have also made available in open access form online. Continue reading “Tough times, new entrants and mobile talent – A Legal Business year in review”

Comment: Forget the Silicon Valley guff – can your firm shift course in 2018?

Comment: Forget the Silicon Valley guff – can your firm shift course in 2018?

Well, 2017 promised to be a challenging year and it did not disappoint with its disappointment. With the Brexit vote upsetting an already-delicate balance in key markets, an inconclusive general election in the summer managed to ramp up the uncertainty further. Continue reading “Comment: Forget the Silicon Valley guff – can your firm shift course in 2018?”

DLA Piper chief Picón joins Latham in shock move as Ropes names first female chair

DLA Piper chief Picón joins Latham in shock move as Ropes names first female chair

In a move that set tongues wagging on both sides of the pond, DLA Piper senior partner and global co-chair Juan Picón is to depart for Latham & Watkins, while Ropes & Gray has selected its first-ever female chair to replace the long-serving Bradford Malt.

Picón’s move to the highest-grossing firm in the world from the one that used to hold that position was fuelled by his desire to spend more time in his native Spain. As such, Picón will take over the role of Latham’s managing partner in the country following the retirement of predecessor José Luis Blanco. He joins at the end of the year from DLA’s Madrid office, bringing corporate partners Ignacio Gómez-Sancha and José Antonio Sánchez-Dafos with him. Continue reading “DLA Piper chief Picón joins Latham in shock move as Ropes names first female chair”

Forget the Silicon Valley guff – can your firm shift course in 2018?

Forget the Silicon Valley guff – can your firm shift course in 2018?

Well, 2017 promised to be a challenging year and it did not disappoint with its disappointment. With the Brexit vote upsetting an already-delicate balance in key markets, an inconclusive general election in the summer managed to ramp up the uncertainty further.

Overall, deal activity was solid throughout the year but no more, beyond a continued boom in private equity and leveraged finance work. The long term regulatory squeeze on the banking and securities industries continues, with even once apparently unstoppable shops like Goldman Sachs struggling to live up to their reputation. It is hard for partners of my vintage to get their head around the notion that the major banks are not as central clients as they used to be and will likely become less so in future. But they should get over it. Continue reading “Forget the Silicon Valley guff – can your firm shift course in 2018?”

A life in politics – the tricky art for law firm leaders of governing the ungovernable

A life in politics – the tricky art for law firm leaders of governing the ungovernable

Laura Empson reflects on the confidence trick required of successful law firm leaders

Leaders, by definition, must have followers. This statement is axiomatic. But among lawyers it is not nearly as simple as that. In firms filled with highly-educated, independent thinkers, who do not like being told what to do, finding people who think of themselves as followers is not easy. And finding people who are happy to put themselves forward as leaders can be even harder. Continue reading “A life in politics – the tricky art for law firm leaders of governing the ungovernable”

Any conversation is potentially significant – the emerging skills that will equip the best lawyers of the future

Any conversation is potentially significant – the emerging skills that will equip the best lawyers of the future

David Morley reflects on the impact of communication in professional services and opportunities for lawyers to improve

My guess is that a law firm partner or general counsel might have the opportunity for around 100 high-value conversations every year in their professional life. That is 100 out of the roughly 10,000 conversations the average adult will have each year. What do I mean by high value? A career-enhancing conversation that transforms a situation or a relationship for the better. It might be with a client, a fellow partner, an associate or someone else. Continue reading “Any conversation is potentially significant – the emerging skills that will equip the best lawyers of the future”

Comment: What’s the point of Baker McKenzie? (And does Paul Rawlinson have an answer?)

Comment: What’s the point of Baker McKenzie? (And does Paul Rawlinson have an answer?)

Ever wonder what Baker McKenzie is waiting for? The firm once had a crystal clear market position as the only major commercial practice that got anywhere near being truly globalised. And while the sprawling nature of the network meant a 20-year battle to shrug off the franchise tag, Bakers has long achieved polished mid-market credibility in many key jurisdictions. While it was never a threat to the US and London elite, the logic for an emerging giant to handle the mid-stream work for global plcs speaks for itself. Yet Bakers has continually fallen short of its own rhetoric.

Having been an international trailblazer, growth has been pedestrian for a decade now and there is too little evidence of the oft-promised push up the value chain. Continue reading “Comment: What’s the point of Baker McKenzie? (And does Paul Rawlinson have an answer?)”

What’s the point of Baker McKenzie?

What’s the point of Baker McKenzie?

Ever wonder what Baker McKenzie is waiting for? The firm once had a crystal clear market position as the only major commercial practice that got anywhere near being truly globalised. And while the sprawling nature of the network meant a 20-year battle to shrug off the franchise tag, Bakers has long achieved polished mid-market credibility in many key jurisdictions. While it was never a threat to the US and London elite, the logic for an emerging giant to handle the mid-stream work for global plcs speaks for itself. Yet Bakers has continually fallen short of its own rhetoric.

Having been an international trailblazer, growth has been pedestrian for a decade now and there is too little evidence of the oft-promised push up the value chain. Continue reading “What’s the point of Baker McKenzie?”

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”