Clients and rookie lawyers – some awkward truths and a woolly debate on training

Ah, despite the changing fashions, technology and economic realities of the day, in law you can always rely on that curious mix of mutual hypocrisy, miscommunication, mistrust and conflicting agendas between clients and law firms to endure.

Leader |

Ah, despite the changing fashions, technology and economic realities of the day, in law you can always rely on that curious mix of mutual hypocrisy, miscommunication, mistrust and conflicting agendas between clients and law firms to endure. [Continue Reading]

Significant matters – Spring 2017

Agenda |

Tesco commits to BLP for real estate

Supermarket giant Tesco has gifted Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) with another three-year stint as its lead property adviser. The mandate was last extended in 2014 when Tesco dropped Ashurst from its panel and the extension is a further endorsement of BLP’s key practice area and low-cost Manchester base.

Tesco also uses Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for corporate and commercial work and the Magic Circle firm recently advised the supermarket as it signed a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay the Serious Fraud Office £129m in fines relating to a 2014 profit misstatement, avoiding prosecution after a two-year investigation. Allen & Overy, Hill Dickinson and Squire Patton Boggs are also among Tesco’s regular advisers. [Continue Reading]


  • The In-House Lawyer, , The In-House Lawyer

Profile: Alison Marsden, Thomas Cook Group

The travel group’s GC discusses why helping to save holidaymakers is more satisfying than dealmaking

Profile |

Many in-house counsel will say that the attraction of the job comes from having greater influence on their business and this is also true for Alice Marsden, group general counsel of Thomas Cook Group. However, the real draw for her comes from sometimes getting to have an altogether more personal impact. [Continue Reading]

GC Powerlist

GC Powerlist |

To coincide with the 20th annual Legal Business Awards, a launch reception was held on 23 March to mark the launch of our fifth annual GC Powerlist which, under the unifying title The Clients of Tomorrow, looked at both the outstanding rising star in-house counsel and high-growth companies with the prospects of becoming the global giants of tomorrow. At the gathering, which included key representatives from FTSE 100 companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Telefónica and RSA, The In-House Lawyer editor-in-chief Alex Novarese said this year’s report was the most challenging yet to research but also probably the most interesting. [Continue Reading]


Fit to Print

Controversy, upheaval and regulatory scrutiny – who’d want the lot of a media and publishing GC?

Media and publishing |

In a world where newspapers are branding judges ‘enemies of the people’ and fake news dominates public discourse, these days the media itself is the story.

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The blueprint

While the outcomes are far from clear, The In-House Lawyer asks how advisers and clients can best tackle Brexit

Brexit |

‘There are known knowns… There are known unknowns… but there are also unknown unknowns.’

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  • Antony Notaras, Reporter, The In-House Lawyer



KWM’s European arm went from pioneering global merger to the UK’s largest legal collapse in three years. The In-House Lawyer pieces together its final chapter

Adviser focus |

‘When I initiated discussions on our culture at partners’ meetings, I could see the faces of many of my former partners light up, not for the reasons I hoped, but from the reflected glow of their BlackBerrys. They saw an excellent opportunity to catch up on more pressing issues, while I, to their minds, embarked on some abstruse philosophical and largely meaningless examination of our corporate soul.’ David Harrel, senior partner of SJ Berwin between 1992 and 2006, writing in Legal Business, 2013

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The shock of the new

BT’s Chris Fowler and Elevate Services’ Jack Diggle size up the emerging alternative legal sector and ask what it can do for hard-pressed general counsel

New law providers |

At a recent event for senior in-house counsel in London, two clear messages emerged. Firstly, that there is a rapid professionalisation in the way that major legal departments are managing themselves. Secondly, there was agreement that much of the support for change was being driven from the ‘alternative’ legal market. Despite this, there was a lack of agreement as to what lay behind this process and how alternative providers were supporting it. In this article we explore these two issues. Firstly, what are the changes in-house legal departments are looking to bring about? And, secondly, how can the alternative marketplace help support them? [Continue Reading]


  • Chris Fowler, BT, The In-House Lawyer


  • Jack Diggle, Elevate Services, The In-House Lawyer

    Elevate Services

Rebels with a clause

Tech-savvy, dynamic and fast-growing – the Disruptive GC group is on every law firm’s radar. The In-House Lawyer meets the hustling new kids on the block

Networking |

For classists, the word ‘disruptive’ still carries negative connotations of damage, chaos and disarray. But these days in corporate circles it has become the phrase of the day – a complimentary shorthand to describe tech-driven innovators remaking all manner of industries. But the cult of disruption – birthed in Clayton Christensen’s hugely influential 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma – has truly come of age when it has reached not only the legal profession, but its in-house branch.

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The new black

Collaboration has become the new innovation – the quality clients are supposed to want and progressive law firms strive to deliver. Does the reality match the hype?

Collaboration |

In her much-touted new book on bolstering team-working in professional services, Smart Collaboration, Harvard Law School professor Heidi Gardner argues that sophisticated buyers are increasingly expecting an open-house approach from advisers in delivering their wares.

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  • Sarah Downey, , The In-House Lawyer