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The $23bn question – why banks' soaring legal spend is posing problems for law firms

When a single bank announces that it is setting aside more money to cover litigation costs than several countries' GDP, it is unlikely be alone in facing soaring legal spend.

11 Apr 2014 | 00:00 | secure


inner image Top of the pile - taking the positives from a contested management election

Contested management elections provide a healthy opportunity for navel gazing

04 Apr 2014 | 10:41 | secure

inner image Taking stock – partner hiring is down but acquisitive US firms remain a scourge for UK rivals

"They take our work and our partners and now they want our associates" – is how one senior partner at a leading City firm recently described the continued efforts by US law firms to make their mark in the London legal market

27 Mar 2014 | 11:40 | secure

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Money talks – bank GCs need to prepare for more pay scrutiny

It's Budget week and one of the few certainties in life alongside death and taxes is that the general public share an unhealthy interest in how much other people earn.

20 Mar 2014 | 15:20 | secure

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A pawn among kings – early days will be vital in shaping legacy SJ Berwin's future

Among a string of recent tie-ups, UK firm SJ Berwin's November union with Sino-Australian partnership King & Wood Mallesons stands out as having the potential to bring real change both to the legacy firms and the wider legal market. The combined firm ...

13 Mar 2014 | 10:55 | secure

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The smartest guys in the room again? Accountancy giants come full circle with latest legal services ventures

The world's largest law firms have a lot to be grateful to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for. Were it not for this timely intervention by the regulators in the wake of the Enron scandal and the subsequent collapse of Andersen, a situation where the biggest l...

06 Mar 2014 | 15:40 | secure

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Dear reader – Legal Week moves with the times with redesign

It isn't often that we would devote our leader column to changes at Legal Week itself, but this week is different. As you can see, this issue – whether you are reading the print or the iPad edition – marks the final step in our evolution from ...

28 Feb 2014 | 00:00 | secure

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Can't get no satisfaction – half-hearted rewards system is worse than none at all

Associate lockstep is a simple way of making sure that junior lawyers are, by and large, remunerated according to their level of experience and client exposure. And it's easy to see the attraction for law firms given the degree of certainty that comes...

21 Feb 2014 | 00:00 | secure

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Reasons to be cheerful – is the LG merger a good move for Wragge & Co?

For a law firm leader, Wragge & Co senior partner Quentin Poole is very approachable. Neither colleagues nor rivals seem to have a bad word to say about him and, as the firm's long-awaited London merger draws closer, he has more reason than ever to be...

13 Feb 2014 | 11:40 | secure

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Taking stock – Tony Angel's departure is not just any management shuffle

Given the frequency with which law firms make both management changes and partner hires, there's a tendency for many to get lost in the crowd. But every so often something a little bit different happens. So it was when Slaughter and May last month...

07 Feb 2014 | 00:00 | secure

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Leaner, faster, stronger – the importance of getting the basics right

Not being the sexiest of topics, Clifford Chance's (CC) publication last week of a white paper on 'continuous improvement in the legal sector' probably escaped most people's notice. But before you switch off completely, it is worth considering tha...

31 Jan 2014 | 00:00 | secure

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Plus ça change – can Rare's diversity scheme transform the profession?

On the surface a lot can change in the legal world in six months. In the time since I went on maternity leave last summer, SJ Berwin has agreed and gone live with its much-trailed combination with King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), Lawrence Graham has final...

24 Jan 2014 | 00:00 | secure

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Follow the leader – CC die not yet cast as Layton prepares to take the helm

Any law firm manager elected or re-elected in the middle of the last decade probably faced a similar dilemma to Clifford Chance's David Childs: voted in during a boom, these leaders found their roles re-cast as the economy took a dramatic turn for the...

16 Jan 2014 | 10:42 | secure

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Conflict conundrum – banks' grip on top firms raises fairness fears

Bringing up the subject of conflicts of interest is guaranteed to get law firms hot under the collar. It's just not a topic they are comfortable discussing because, while the Solicitors Regulation Authority has clarified and re-clarified its rules sev...

13 Dec 2013 | 00:00 | secure

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Bonus season – the pros of treating junior lawyers fairly, if not equally

Back in May, Legal Week tallied up the number of law firm jobs placed at risk of redundancy over the previous 12 months. The figure reached was a rather shocking 1,300, including some 750 jobs that had actually been cut at that point. Since then, t...

06 Dec 2013 | 00:00




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