• Legal Week

    Should blogging (and even tweeting) be allowed to count for CPD hours?

    June 03, 2011

    Yesterday's article by Alex Aldridge on Guardian.co.uk - Why barristers balk at the 'box-ticking' of continuing professional development - has sparked a furious (well, furious-ish) debate in the comments section and Twitter over whether legal blogging and tweeting should be included in barristers' compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours. My view is that legal blogging, and possibly even legal tweeting, should be included in CPD, and currently the former almost certainly is. But this may change soon if the Bar Standards Board's (BSB) proposals are accepted, cutting blogging out of CPD completely. This is a bad idea, for reasons I will explain.

  • Legal Week

    In depth: Private equity

    March 31, 2011

    From boom to bust, the private equity industry is attempting to reinvent itself for a much-changed world. Alex Aldridge assesses its chances of navigating the challenges ahead, while Travers, Weil, Freshfields and SJB size up the key issues for buyout professionals...

  • Legal Week

    Back at the gate - the challenges ahead for private equity

    March 29, 2011

    A few weeks ago news got out that Bain Capital, one of the world's leading private equity firms, was holding interviews for junior investment professionals a month earlier than usual. Bain's competitors, which include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) and The Blackstone Group, moved quickly, bringing forward their pre-scheduled cocktail party recruiting events. This was not a surprising development. Five years ago private equity houses often did their entry-level hiring in September. During the boom, such intakes kept drifting earlier into the year as rivals jostled to secure the best aspiring deal-doers.

  • Legal Week

    Legal opinions - Joshua Rozenberg reflects on 25 years covering the law

    March 23, 2011

    As mainstream media shies away from legal coverage, Joshua Rozenberg talks to Alex Aldridge about the 20 years under his belt that have made him the UK's best-known legal commentator

  • Legal Week

    Renaissance man - Ashar Qureshi on quitting Cleary for a senior banking role

    February 22, 2011

    "People are realising that a single event - even a major one - isn't enough to throw emerging markets off course anymore," remarks Ashar Qureshi, vice chairman of Renaissance Group, the Russia-based investment bank specialising in investments in the CIS and Africa. "Take Egypt, where we have investments and trade securities," he continues. "Despite the crisis, stocks in companies based there haven't shown the fragility many assumed they would." Qureshi's involvement with emerging markets work dates back to the early 1990s, when he was drafted onto the privatisation of Mexican telecoms company Telmex as a junior associate in Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's New York office. "Emerging markets comes naturally to me. Maybe it's something to do with being brought up in Pakistan," he says. His specialism in this area gathered pace when, aged 27, he left the Big Apple to take up a role in Cleary's highly-regarded London capital markets team.

  • Legal Week

    Legal Week's blogroll - the five most-read and five tips to be the most read

    February 16, 2011

    Around the time of Alex Aldridge's blogging feature and Sofia Lind's complementary article on lawyers and social media in October last year, a worrying addiction to Twitter had begun to develop in Legal Week's sumptuous Soho offices. Much time spent 'researching' on the site helped us to uncover a fast-growing legal community among Twitter's burgeoning membership. The next step in December was for Legal Week to start regularly hosting blogs from outside contributors on the Legal Village section of our website.

  • Legal Week

    In depth: Rising 25

    February 11, 2011

    Alex Aldridge tells the tales of success and woe from firms outside of the UK top 50, while the leaders of Cobbetts, Farrers and TLT offer their perspectives on what it takes to cut it...

  • Legal Week

    Two years or not two years: that is not the question

    February 08, 2011

    The College of Law has launched a two-year law degree. A number of journalists and bloggers have tackled the subject (Alex Aldridge, Charon QC and Neil Rose). It seems worth, however, adding my two pennies worth. Whether a two-year course at about £18k is perceived to provide better value than a three-year course at (up to) £27k depends significantly on who is paying the £18k, when and with what rate of interest. In public universities fees will be deferred and underwritten by the state. In private insitutions £18k will have to be found pretty quickly and paid for at commercial rates of interest. There will be little or no time to work during holidays or in term time to pay of accumulating living expenses. Employability of these students will be key (to which I return).

  • Legal Week

    Rising 25: tales of success and woe from the law firms outside the UK top 50

    February 08, 2011

    Sitting just off junction nine of the M27 between Southampton and Portsmouth is the unglamorous Segensworth business park, where for the last two years Blake Lapthorn - the 60th largest law firm in the UK - has paid £450,000 to rent vacant office space. When the firm moved into New Kings Court on the outskirts of Southampton as part of a consolidation following a series of mergers, managing partner Walter Cha thought he would be able to sublet the space. But unsurprisingly, he hadn't counted on a global banking crisis and the subsequent recession. It was costs such as these that saw Blake Lapthorn's profit per equity partner (PEP) fall to just £65,000 in its 2008-09 year. Although this figure has since risen to £116,000, it is still well short of the UK top 51-75 law firm peer group average of £276,000.

  • Legal Week

    In the pink - the FT's GC on networking, peer review and social media

    January 19, 2011

    Last summer, Financial Times (FT) general counsel Tim Bratton hired a meeting room for four days in a building around the corner from the daily business newspaper's Southwark headquarters. "I wanted the legal team to take a few days out of the office together in order to have an inward look at the way we function," he says. During those few days Bratton and the six lawyers who report to him "questioned every step of the in-house legal process".