RESILIENT REVENUE - So far in 2023, the behavior of the U.S. economy has been, in financial parlance, real whacky. Corporate earnings have, in some cases, come in better than expected and jobs data has been resilient—but so has inflation, and no one seems to agree on what it all portends. Are we headed for a recession or a near-miss? Similarly, in the legal industry, as Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, the biggest Big Law firms turned in surprisingly “strong” collections and revenue growth during the first quarter of 2023. Am Law 100 firms increased revenue 4.7% during Q1, with firms in the 1-50 segment growing the topline 5.5% and firms 51-100 notching a 2.9% gain, according to a survey of 66 Am Law 100 firms conducted by Wells Fargo Legal Group. While economic headwinds are certainly still blowing, the authors of the report said they were “broadly encouraged” by the data.
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY - Trash talk can be a lot of fun—until the backlash starts. (Just ask the Memphis Grizzlies!) Like Dillon Brooks to LeBron, big tech companies are suddenly “poking the bear”—publicly challenging regulators instead of striking a deferential tone. For example, Meta on Wednesday lambasted the FTC after it proposed punishing the company for privacy violations by banning it from monetizing data it collects on children and teens. But also like Dillon Brooks to LeBron, public provocations of the powerful can be a risky strategy. William Kovacic, a George Washington University law professor and former FTC chairman, told Law.com’s Hugo Guzman that, in the eyes of regulators, companies “can have reputations for being cooperative or for being obstreperous. And the reputation can affect the way in which the company’s current problem or issues would be viewed by the agency.”