Disruption is heading in-house. Discuss

This debate has been framed as law firms disrupted while in-house teams drive change merely as empowered customers. Such a reading defies economic realities.

Leader |

A lively debate over coffee recently with Axiom founder Mark Harris took me back to the discussion that manifests most frequently in my line of work these days: the extent that legal services are transforming with new providers and tools.

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Significant matters – Summer 2018

Agenda |

EDF and Co-op overhaul panels

Big six energy supplier EDF Energy has almost halved its external advisers in a panel review that cut the number of law firms from 14 to eight. CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) were added, while Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Pinsent Masons, Eversheds Sutherland, Squire Patton Boggs and Burges Salmon all retained their places. The firms to lose out included Clifford Chance, Dentons, TLT, Osborne Clarke, Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Kennedys, Weightmans and Foot Anstey. The review of the panel – which will run until 2020 – was led by chief legal officer Guido Santi, and was intended to bring EDF closer to firms that could advise across its diverse business lines. [Continue Reading]


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Daniel Toner, Spire Healthcare

The energetic legal chief of the private healthcare giant on his campaign to get lawyers out of the ‘dungeon’

Profile |

Daniel Toner had done his research. Before an interview to become head of legal at Bupa Hospitals in 2006, he noticed the company had shifted some of its non-hospital assets to a new division.

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Playing the game

Could game design be about to impact the profession? The In-House Lawyer finds out how in-house and private practice teams are toying with gamification in an effort to improve legal service delivery

Leadership |

You may not have heard the term ‘gamification’, but the chances are you have experienced a form of it. Perhaps you’re an executive in a FTSE 500 company with a generous bonus triggered when your performance meets certain conditions. You could be a corporate client, flicking through the ranked lawyers in The Legal 500, preparing to draw up a shortlist for your next deal. In each case, you would be responding to an element of gameplay dynamics, subtly influencing your judgement, or motivating particular choices.
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Big deals

The days when corporate work was sent straight to a law firm have gone. IHL talks to the GCs handling the headline deals

M&A |

The global M&A market is booming. Bill Mordan, general counsel at FTSE 100 drug-maker Shire, would know. Shire’s board recently recommended a £46bn takeover offer from rival Japanese pharma giant Takeda. [Continue Reading]

The justice brand

The In-House Lawyer teamed up with disputes leader Boies Schiller Flexner to assess London’s prospects as a leading litigation hub

Future of disputes debate in association with Boies Schiller Flexner |

Alex Novarese, The In-House Lawyer: Will the UK legal system be more or less trusted post Brexit?
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Winds of change

The In-House Lawyer reports on trends in the fast-evolving and cut-throat European aviation sector

Aviation |

Uncertainty seems to be the only thing lawyers working in Europe’s aviation sector can count on these days. The recent collapse of two established major European airlines demonstrated the volatility facing many sections of the industry, with UK-headquartered Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin becoming the latest casualties of turbulence. ‘Airlines are no longer seen as your triple-A bet,’ says Catherine Ledger, general counsel of UK-based airline Flybe.
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  • Catherine Wycherley, , The In-House Lawyer

Commitment issues

With one pioneering sole-adviser relationship between a company and law firm now a decade old, The In-House Lawyer assesses the evolution of two high-profile partnerships

Procurement |

Commitment. Marriage. Honeymoon. Divorce. Conversations about single-supplier legal advisory mandates are rife with relationship-strewn analogies. While no two arrangements are the same, most begin with a commitment from a company and its in-house legal team to reduce external legal spend and get a better handle on its multitude of legal connections.
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  • Hamish McNicol, , The In-House Lawyer

Brexit: counting down

Together with Herbert Smith Freehills, we gathered a collection of the firm’s experts and clients to talk turkey as the UK works towards the 30 March 2019 Brexit deadline

The brexit debate in association with Herbert Smith Freehills |

To kick off the debate, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) M&A partner Stephen Wilkinson introduced guest speaker Tom White, head of Europe at Global Counsel – who has over a decade of experience working for the UK Government primarily on EU single market negotiations – to give an overview of where the UK is, both in its internal preparedness for Brexit and in its negotiations with the EU. To the surprise of some, he takes an optimistic view: ‘We could have been in a much worse position than we are now.’ However, he did point out that there were a number of major caveats to that optimism. The first being ‘we have an incredibly weak government in the UK that can actually be voted down on an issue any time and could lead to the Prime Minister having to resign and having a general election’.
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