Comment: As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on

Comment: As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on

There are times in my career as a legal pundit where I’ve gone against trend to argue the unpopular view. This is not going to be one of those columns. Instead, this is about speaking up for a truism that is unusual for being largely true and one that law firm leaders themselves frequently cite. I am here to sing the praises for law firms being more specialised in the practices and markets they cover.

Radical stuff, eh? And yet despite how easily the benefits of specialism fit the rhetoric of managing partners, is there much evidence to suggest that the commercial legal profession as a whole is moving in that direction? Far less than commonly believed. Continue reading “Comment: As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on”

The Global 100: The devil you know – The two visions for Freshfields

The Global 100: The devil you know – The two visions for Freshfields

‘Some of the management are dinosaurs. They don’t understand how important this is.’ So speaks one loyalist Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner of a growing unease shared by some regarding the City giant’s direction.

When Legal Business’ last focus on the 276-year-old institution hit desks in late 2015, the question was how newly-elected senior partner Edward Braham and co-managing partner Chris Pugh would secure the firm’s place in the Global Elite as the challenge from profitable US rivals mounted. Continue reading “The Global 100: The devil you know – The two visions for Freshfields”

As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on

As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on

There are times in my career as a legal pundit where I’ve gone against trend to argue the unpopular view. This is not going to be one of those columns. Instead, this is about speaking up for a truism that is unusual for being largely true and one that law firm leaders themselves frequently cite. I am here to sing the praises for law firms being more specialised in the practices and markets they cover.

Radical stuff, eh? And yet despite how easily the benefits of specialism fit the rhetoric of managing partners, is there much evidence to suggest that the commercial legal profession as a whole is moving in that direction? Far less than commonly believed. Continue reading “As specialists thrive in law’s Darwinian age too many drift on”

The DAC Interview – Close to the rocks

The DAC Interview – Close to the rocks

Legal Business (LB): You have both been in charge for nearly four years. What are some of the highlights?

David Pollitt (DP), managing partner, DAC Beachcroft: One of the first things we decided was to streamline our governance, which Virginia led on. We wanted to become more corporate, leaner and more efficient in decision-making. But we also wanted to be clear about our purpose, our vision, our principles and our business strategy. It took us some time, probably 12 months. Continue reading “The DAC Interview – Close to the rocks”

Watching the watchmen – inside the growing market for legal advisory work

Watching the watchmen – inside the growing market for legal advisory work

It used to be that law firms were rather more comfortable doling out advice than receiving it, but in an increasingly complex and regulated environment, major law firms can no longer make do bluffing their way through. Given that corporate governance at law firms can often be much less virtuous than the example they preach to their clients, it takes a certain kind of tenacity for the growing band of advisers to the legal industry to influence their clients.

As Iain Miller, regulatory partner at law firm Kingsley Napley, puts it: the professionalisation of risk management over the last five to ten years has been ‘huge’, which has encouraged a fertile breeding ground for advisory firms offering services in the legal sector. Continue reading “Watching the watchmen – inside the growing market for legal advisory work”

Shameless plug alert: Unveiling the programme for Enterprise GC

Shameless plug alert: Unveiling the programme for Enterprise GC

Readers of a sensitive disposition in the face of journalists bigging up their own wares, please turn away, this piece is not for you. But general counsel interested in what we hope is a genuine flagship event, we believe you’ll find something of interest as we now unveil the programme for this year’s Enterprise GC summit.

Legal Business’ editorial team this year took the lead in pulling together a programme for the event, including signing up a top-class steering committee of GCs that have been generous with their time in helping us create our agenda. Continue reading “Shameless plug alert: Unveiling the programme for Enterprise GC”

The DLA interview: On this rock I build…

The DLA interview: On this rock I build…

Simon Levine (SL), co-chief executive, DLA Piper: I had a bit of fun and looked at the article you wrote on me when I first started [as DLA Piper’s co-chief executive, published in March 2015].

Legal Business (LB): Are you trying to catch us out? Because we got into this job to be inconsistent. Continue reading “The DLA interview: On this rock I build…”

Linklaters turns to Asia for new banking head as Bugg steps down after three years

Linklaters turns to Asia for new banking head as Bugg steps down after three years

Linklaters’ Hong Kong based finance partner Davide Mencacci has replaced Tony Bugg to become the firm’s first non-London based banking head.

Linklaters announced today (11 February) the election of the former Allen & Overy partner to the role for four years, while Bugg stepped down three years into his term to go back to full time fee-earning. Continue reading “Linklaters turns to Asia for new banking head as Bugg steps down after three years”