Quality marks - a patchy partnership always bodes ill
As Dewey & LeBoeuf this week officially became the world’s largest legal failure, it seems an appropriate moment to return to a theme touched on often in this column: the difference between success and failure in the high-end legal market. Years of covering the profession have made me believe it has surprisingly little to do with business models or market positioning. Though law firm leaders and commentators often belabour the ‘right’ strategy or shape for a firm, the global legal market offers a bewildering array of successful outfits operating wildly different models. What have Latham & Watkins, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, DLA Piper, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Clyde & Co and Travers Smith got in common? Not much. There is also often confusion between correlation and cause. Is Freshfields successful because it is magic circle, or magic circle because it is successful? That isn’t semantics (though there is no clear answer).
As Dewey & LeBoeuf this week officially became the world’s largest legal failure, it seems an appropriate moment to return to a theme touched on often in this column: the difference between success and failure in the high-end legal market.
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