Legal News Updates

Discussion in 'Commercial Awareness Forum' started by Daniel Boden, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi guys,

    I have been asked by @Jaysen to create this thread to summarise what I believe are the big stories in The Lawyer and Legal Week every week. I will aim to try and do at least one summary per week given I know that many of us don't have premium subscriptions to both so I will try to ensure you guys can get the key articles from both publications!

    I hope you find this useful and any feedback please just comment below and I'll do my best to improve week by week!

    Best,
    Dan
     
    #1 Daniel Boden, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  2. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    The Lawyer: Data dive: If you want to make partner at a US firm, train at Slaughter and May (27 March 2019)

    Introduction
    The Lawyer recently analysed US firms that have grown organically in London to compare their training programmes with those of UK and magic circle firms. The results were very interesting and suggest that for those lawyers that train at US firms, they are unlikely to make partner at said firms.

    The Lawyer looked at Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, Shearman & Sterling, White & Case, Covington & Burling, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Sidley Austin and Weil, Gotshal & Manges to compare to see how many of the firms' homegrown lawyers had made partner. The results were very interesting and are summarised below:

    Latham & Watkins
    - First took trainees in 2006 and had no home-grown partners in its latest promotions round.
    - Since 2006, 170 lawyers trained at Latham and the firms currently has almost 50 trainees at the firm.
    - Overall, not too unsurprising that the firm hasn't got a home-grown partner as only roughly 15/170 lawyers could have been expected to be at the promotion stage.


    Kirkland & Ellis
    - First took trainees in 2009 and had no home-grown partners in the latest round of promotions.
    - Kirkland's first home grown partners started in 2017 due to its unusual system of promoting associates at six years PQE. This means many more are likely to come soon.
    - The firm's 'make equity or leave' model means some of its lawyers don't become equity partners, instead leaving for other firms (one left partner status to become an associate at Linklaters).

    Shearman & Sterling
    - First took trainees in 1999, but had no home-grown partners in the latest round of promotions.
    - The last was in 2018, and the firm made up two in 2019, both being trained overseas.

    White & Case
    - First took trainees in the 1990s and had one home-grown partner in the latest promotions round, making it the only firm that was surveyed to have a home-grown partner at a US firm in 2019.
    - The firm has one of the oldest US training programmes and made up 13 partners this year, one of them being Helen Levendi, King’s College London graduate and White & Case 2009 qualifier.
    - In fact, only having one home-grown lawyer is lower than normal for White & Case as in 2018 White & Case promoted two of its own former trainees to partner, and made three promotions in 2017 and four in 2016!

    Covington & Burling
    - The firm didn’t promote anyone in London in 2019, however, it has managed to promote two of its own trainees to the partnership in recent years.
    - However, given that Covington has only made up six partners in London since 2012, this isn’t as bad as it would initially seem.

    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
    - Cleary doesn't make up many partners in London and even when it does, few have trained in the UK.
    - Since 2013 Cleary made up six partners in the City, and only two trained in the UK.

    Sidley Austin
    - Like White & Case, Sidley has one of the oldest-established training contracts of US firms, however, unlike White & Case, Sidley doesn't have many London promotions per year which therefore limits the number of trainees making partner.
    - The only lawyer who made partner in the London office in 2019 trained at Slaughter and May the last home-grown promotion in 2012.

    Weil, Gotshal & Manges

    - None of Weil's London promotions in 2019 trained at the firm.
    - The last homegrown partner was in 2014 and she left for White & Case.

    Conclusion
    - The Lawyer covered 8 US firms in this article who made up 38 partners in their last rounds of promotions.
    - Out of those:
    Slaughter and May trained the most partners with four.
    - Linklaters and Clifford Chance each trained two partners
    - Allen & Overy and Freshfields both trained one
    - Eight of the 38 partners trained overseas (four in the USA, three in Australia and one in Europe).
     
    #2 Daniel Boden, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  3. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Legal Week: EY Eyes Continued Legal Services Growth With Pangea3 Acquisition (5 April 2019)

    Introduction
    In this article, Legal Week explains that EY has purchased the legal managed services business Pangea3 from Thomson Reuters, indicating it is not stopping its expansion into the legal sector any time soon!

    Article

    Following its recent acquisition of alternative legal services provider, Riverview Law, EY has acquired Pangea3, a legal managed services business.

    EY can now deliver legal services in eight locations across three continents and the acquisition will help EY focus on the core areas of contract life cycle management and regulatory risk and compliance capabilities.

    EY has been drawn to this area following client demand. Growing M&A activity and regulatory pressures has led to the formation of larger companies with lots of contracts to manage.

    Where next? EY will stay focused on its legal advisory business and could make further purchases int eh near future. Thomson Reuters, on the other hand, will focus on its own content to help in-house legal departments and law firms as they continue to become more efficient and add value to their clients. This includes its legal research tool Westlaw Edge and its document review service eDiscovery Point.
     
    #3 Daniel Boden, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2019
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  4. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi guys, just one article this week I'm afraid as I'm off travelling to Iguazú Falls in the north of Argentina!

    Enjoy :)

    Legal Week: Why Tomorrow's Lawyers Will Be Needed More Than Ever (17 April 2019)

    Introduction
    In this article, Legal Week assesses what young lawyers will have to do and adapt and thrive in the near future.

    Article
    The article begins by stating that the author predicts that in around 5 years or so, the traditional legal global landscape as we know it will come to a logical end as high-earning partners will come to the end of their careers, lower-cost legal platforms will become ubiquitous meaning there will be fewer roles for junior associates and there will be a very interesting geopolitical landscape in the post-Brexit and post-Trump world!

    However, despite this supposed doom & gloom, there will be a tremendous opportunity for change in the legal world as the use of technology will become commonplace, making the industry supposedly much more attractive to clients. This will, therefore, create new and intriguing opportunities for employment in the legal world, and so members of our generation will have great success as we will be accustomed to using such 'high-tech' and 'modern' devices with our skills and experience. Therefore, incredibly different types of law firms, in terms of practice areas and business models, will begin to emerge.

    So what roles will lawyers have in these new, diverse law firms? Some will be specialists in industries we are not aware of yet. Some will continue to serve regional companies or run niche law firms that have a specific focus to a worldwide audience. Others will focus on producing law technology programs to make the industry more efficient and make millions doing so. Whilst others will continue following the dated billable hour for complex legal advice.

    In terms of the industries that will be prevalent in the future, the author believes that climate change will be of even more crucial importance so a knowledge of the energy and technology fields will be important. Moreover, due to rising sea levels and the possibility of lands being uninhabitable due to increasing temperatures, immigration law could also be a pressing issue.

    What is clear though despite the potential inaccuracy of these predictions is that there will continue to be significant opportunities for lawyers to have an impact on the world and for those who wish to make the world a better place.
     
    #4 Daniel Boden, Apr 17, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  5. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi all,

    Here's my summary for this week - enjoy!

    The Lawyer: What does it take to make partner? (26 April 2019)

    Introduction
    In this article, The Lawyer analyses the considerations that every associate should consider if they wish to make partner at a city law firm.

    Article
    The article begins by offering 6 reasons or issues that go into a lawyer making partner.

    Firstly, politics. From a partner's or a practice group's point of view, the ability to put forward successful candidates is largely down to political clout and profitable practices. Ultimately, because of the limited resource of partnership equity, there is a lot of competition amongst partners and therefore candidates but the ones that are successful are put forward by those individuals or practice groups who have a significant influence in the firm. Potential candidates should, therefore, look to build a large network of allies and be visible across the firm from as early a stage as possible, in order to offer themselves the best chance of success.

    Secondly, personality. Since there are so many different types of people who are partners at law firms, it is hard to pinpoint an exact personality trait that would give a candidate an edge in the selection process. However, the author proposes that a strong level of emotional intelligence is what sets the elite apart from there contemporaries. Those lawyers who are natural leaders, excellent communicators and listeners and who are always supportive and available to their team are the ones who tend to flourish as partners. For this reason, the author surmises that emotional intelligence is perhaps more important than intellectual and technical expertise, as those who are promoted without emotional intelligence will ultimately fail in a law firm partnership.

    Thirdly, economics. It goes without saying that those associates who are nominated by partners in the most financially profitable practice groups will have a much greater chance of being made up to partner. Moreover, if the nominee has a consistent track record of billing well and bringing in a good amount of business to the firm, then he/she will again have a much greater chance of success.

    Fourthly, vision. Partnership candidates must demonstrate that they can think like a partner and can create a succinct and profitable vision for the future. This can be either short, medium or long-term and must ensure that their vision meets the targets the law firm has for them, be it economically or from a business development point of view. The nominee must have clear goals and ambitions with clear evidence of a plan as to how he/she will carry out his/her vision in a successful and realistic manner.

    Fifthly, values. The firm's values, strategy and culture will also play a part in partnership decisions. Whilst not always obvious during the selection process, any candidate with a good level of emotional intelligence will understand these issues such as diversity, practice area focus etc. Other factors such as how the firm will allocate its resources are also worthy of mention here.

    Sixthly and lastly, luck. However strong a candidate could look on paper, things out of their control such as a recession or a downturn in the candidate's practice area could prevent them from becoming a partner. Therefore, the author advises partnership-seeking associates to effectively have a back-up plan in that they will have a 'major' focus area which will be the key part of their legal practice which bills very well and allows them to be visible throughout the firm, whilst at the same time having a 'minor' focus. This secondary focus will allow the candidate to gain more exposure in the firm and allow them to generate more financial profits if needed in case of a recession for instance.
     
    #5 Daniel Boden, Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  6. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    This is great Daniel, thank you very much indeed for the write up!! :)
     
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  7. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi all,

    Here's my summary from last week's legal news - enjoy :)

    Legal Week: Big Four Audit Split 'Would Spark Major Legal Market Assault' (3 May 2019)

    Introduction
    In this article, Legal Week asserts that separating the Big Four's audit departments into separate businesses would speed up their entry into the legal world.

    Article
    The article begins by stating that following the pressure created by MPs after the scandals of BHS and Carillion, the CMA (in April 2019) has recommended that the Big Four separate its audit departments. As a result, EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PWC may be forced to restructure their audit function into separate entities in order to reduce market dominance.

    Following this, Big Four firms have stated that they would welcome these discussions but don't have any plans to separate their operations as of yet, some even criticising the CMA's suggestions. EY, for instance, has brought in Slaughter and May for advice, as it is seeking to challenge the competition watchdog's position.

    Indeed, many believe that this ruling, if put into practice, would have a dramatic effect on the legal departments of the Big Four.

    Some executives surmise that the change would result in a change in attitude by the Big Four to invest heavily in their legal offerings. This is because, if their audit functions are separated, there would no longer be any restrictions on the scope of practice nor any independence issues, and so it is highly likely that there would be a rapid expansion of legal services.

    This has created fear amongst smaller and mid-size law firms who will be under even more pressure to diversify their practices so as to avoid losing out to the much higher revenue and resources of the Big Four accountancy firms who have the firepower to make a real impact in the legal market.

    Whilst it has not yet been confirmed whether audit firms will have to separate nor the possible nature of the split, it is very likely that the Big Four's brand will be weakened and so they will have to invest in other areas, namely the legal world.

    However, whilst accountancy firms would be able to compete alongside law firms if the legal practice is separate from the audit department, they would have lost their USP as they wouldn't be a part of the overall brand. If the legal arms of the Big Four were separated tomorrow and then ranked alongside law firms, the Big Four wouldn't stand a chance.

    One executive consultant maintains however that while there could be an initial set back, this damage would only force the legal departments of the Big Four to undertake a more aggressive form of expansion, due to the sheer financial resources they have available.

    The article concludes with a warning that if the Big Four did decide to aggressively expand into the legal world, there would be perhaps no stopping them and the legal world as we know it would be changed forever.
     
    #7 Daniel Boden, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  8. RSP

    RSP New Member

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    Part of my recent assessment day at WBD featured a discussion with two partners about the possible ramifications of the Big Four being split up and what I thought the government should do. This write-up would have been really useful to have read beforehand! Thank you for summarising these articles as I'm sure I'll be able to draw on them for applications/future interviews.
     
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  9. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    A pleasure! So glad you find them helpful and hopefully the timing of my summary will be better for you next time :)
     
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  10. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi guys,

    Here's my summary from last week's legal news - enjoy! There weren't a huge amount of articles on either site so, hopefully, this week is more interesting from a news point of view!

    The Lawyer and Legal Week - Brexit forces Clydes' hand into Dublin office opening (13 May 2019)

    Introduction
    In this article, The Lawyer reports that Clyde & Co has become the latest law firm to open an office in Dublin, Ireland, alluding to Brexit concerns playing a key role in its decision-making process.

    Article
    In a statement, Clyde & Co announced that the opening of a new office is designed to allow its Irish law capabilities to continue to function to a high level when Britain leaves the EU in October this year.

    The office will be led by an England and Irish qualified partner, Garrett Moore, who led the insurance practice at Clydes' London office for a number of years.

    Moore stated that whatever happens with Brexit, the firm wanted to be in a position to continue to offer market-leading advice to its insurance and commercial clients in matters relating to Irish law. The opening of an office in Dublin will allow the firm to achieve this.

    This move by Clyde & Co follows an interesting trend by London and UK firms who have invested in Ireland to prepare for any eventuality regarding Brexit. Covington & Burling, DLA Piper, Fieldfisher, Pinsent Masons and Simmons & Simmons have all entered into Dublin since the 2016 referendum, a move which has been welcomed by the Irish legal market.
     
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  11. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    This is great and if anyone is preparing for interviews and thinks they might be asked where a firm should open a new office, it’s a wise idea to read around Ireland and this current trend!! Thanks @Daniel Boden for another well selected write up!! :)
     
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  12. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi guys,

    Here's my summary from last week's legal news featuring an interesting development at Linklaters - enjoy!

    The Lawyer: Linklaters' sports law launch will put a premium on entrepreneurialism

    Introduction
    In this article, The Lawyer reports that more and more law firms specialising in sports law have been formed in recent years, probably due to the increasingly lucrative the world of TV rights. Linklaters is the latest firm to enter this field, which has previously been dominated by boutique law firms such as Centrefield, Northridge Law and Hamlins to name but a few.

    Article
    Linklaters' belief that sport is 'at the forefront of digital and technological development and consumer engagement' is a reflection of the increasingly lucrative market. Whilst Facebook and YouTube are yet to flex their muscles in the live sports arena, in February 2018, BT and Sky secured packages worth a staggering £4.5 billion with Sky spending £3.57 billion of that sum.

    Linklater's clients are largely institutional and corporate, including pension funds such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, but also include TV networks such as beIN Sports along with a number of clubs and leagues.

    Interestingly, the co-head of Linklaters' new sports group is 'only' a five-year qualified corporate associate, Tom Lambert, suggesting Linklaters are going by the old sporting adage: 'If you're good enough, you're old enough'.

    Lambert strongly asserts that the group was created as an effort to entice future clients, instead of solely expanding the firm's offering to its existing clients. The opportunity given to Lambert by the firm to make his name and win new clients in a new area is a real signal of entrepreneurship by Linklaters and is a definite attraction to junior lawyers. Moreover, Lambert believes that the huge increase in investment in the sports sector, when combined with the rise in sports technology and technology, in general, becoming a major focus of the firm, has led to this exciting opportunity for him and the firm.

    Sizing up the competition

    Yet despite the prominence of the aforementioned sports boutiques, Linklaters will also be competing against the biggest name in the sports market: Slaughter and May.

    Slaughters' sporting relationships are well known. The legendary Nigel Boardman has advised Arsenal FC on many occasions regarding player transfers and last November, Boardman advised a number of football clubs in the Championship in their battle to receive a better deal from Sky. Moreover, the corporate heavyweight has also advised the government and the British Olympic Association in the past.

    Despite Boardman's retirement from Slaughter and May's partnership, the firm still has a significant relationship with Arsenal, as demonstrated by new sports head Andrew Jolly, who advised Stan Kroenke on the deal which saw the latter purchase the remaining shares in Arsenal FC in August 2018.

    In his concluding remarks, Lambert acknowledges that the sports market is becoming more exciting and complex as increasingly sophisticated stakeholders are now taking an interest in the lucrative nature of the industry. It is therefore unsurprising that the sports sector is now a key focus area and market for Linklaters.
     
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  13. jaivi

    jaivi Standard Member

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    thanks for sharing
     
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  14. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    Hi everyone, please see this week's write up of the legal news.

    I would be so grateful to hear exactly what it is you guys want to read about each week. Of course the legal news varies, but it would be great to hear what really piques your interest each week and what you would like to read more about! We aim to write up the news that we think would be of interest to you all and so to hear exactly what that might be would be exceptionally useful to us!

    I hope you guys enjoy reading the article summary below and wishing you all a lovely weekend!

    Legal Week: ‘I Am The Law: Can AI Replace Judges?’ (Posted 7th June 2019)


    Summary

    Estonia plans to use AI to make court decisions in small claims disputes which will possibly see the replacement of judges in such matters, should this prove effective.

    Article

    The Ministry of Justice in Estonia is set to demonstrate its trust in artificial intelligence by trialing technology’s capacity to make court judgments in small money claims.

    The MoJ deputy secretary general, Viljar Peep, has stated that Estonia will initially use machine learning technology for claims of up to a maximum of €7,000, with the view to use the AI in more sophisticated claims in the future. This might see the replacement of human judges in such matters.


    Other AI systems currently in use, such as Kira and Lex Machina, assist lawyers by analysing documents and providing a likelihood of a judgement. These current systems assist the legal process without being determiners of a court decision. Although the news of Estonia’s ambitions has garnered interest, there are still reservations about using AI as a determiner of a court decision. The prominent Herbert Smith Freehills dispute resolution partner Damien Byrne Hill shared his skepticism by saying that he believes AI would struggle to do a primary job of a human judge, which is to assess the accuracy of witness statements.

    Others have also expressed doubt that human judges could be replaced in higher value claims and disputes.

    Although Estonia is proposing to advance AI in a way that has not been done before in the legal process, time will only tell how effective this will prove to be. Should it do so, it may well set the tone for technology in the legal sector for years to come.
     
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  15. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Great summary Alice! Thanks again for helping me out :)
     
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  16. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    Thank you @Daniel Boden and it’s no bother at all! Hope it’s all going well!!
     
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