Unreasonable client demands, real estate cutbacks in the capital and some forward thinking – the best of Legal Week last week

Last week we broke the news that Deutsche Bank is set to stop paying for panel firms’ most junior lawyers.

Unsurprisingly, the move has gone down badly with partners. Our survey of some 200 UK partners found almost 60% of them think the demand is unreasonable, with the decision to lump newly qualified lawyers into the same bracket as trainees proving particularly unpopular.

But if Deutsche, or other clients excitedly planning similar moves, think firms are just going to lie down and take it, our survey suggests otherwise. Almost all respondents believe firms will change the way they work to try and recover the rates elsewhere.

Meanwhile, another survey – this time by commercial property company CBRE – has highlighted how demand from law firms for London real estate is on the wane.

Total space taken in new London leases by the largest law firms fell by more than 50% last year as factors such as flexible working, new technology and the Brexit vote push law firms to rethink their real estate footprint.

Neatly demonstrating this falling demand, Ashurst this week confirmed that it is subletting 40% of its new London HQ to fintech company Nex group, leaving it with less space than it currently has.

Other highlights on Legal Week during the past week: