New-model law firms face barriers in the US

first_imgUK law firms seeking to practise on US soil under new business models still face barriers in most US jurisdictions, the US’s largest legal representative body said this week. The American Bar Association (ABA) has yet to change its rules of professional conduct to allow externally financed UK law firms to practise, Tommy Wells, president of the 400,000-strong ABA, told the Gazette. Barriers also remain to alternative business structures in most US jurisdictions. Wells said the concept of ABSs raised ‘important regulatory and ethical issues that must be examined and addressed’. If the ABA does not change its stance by the time ABSs are permitted in 2011, UK law firms that choose to become ABSs will be barred from practising in the US – potentially affecting a number of City and national firms that have a US presence and are contemplating becoming ABSs. The Law Society said it will ‘work hard’ to persuade the ABA and the US regulatory authorities that ABSs are viable business models, while the Legal Services Board urged the ABA to respond to its recent ABS discussion paper and ‘enter into an ongoing dialogue’ with the regulator. Bob Heslett, Law Society vice-president, said: ‘We will work hard to seek to persuade the Americans on this, but we will only be likely to succeed if we can demonstrate that ABSs are just another law firm, subject to the same requirements and regulated by the same regulators as existing law firms, and in particular that client confidentiality is fully preserved and protected.’last_img read more

Shoosmiths profits fall by more than half

first_imgNational firm Shoosmiths today reported profits down by more than half, with a slight reduction in turnover. Profits at the firm tumbled to £5.6m in 2008/09, down 54% on 2007/08. Profits per equity partner dropped from £318,000 to £150,000 over the same period. Turnover fell 4% from £103m in 2007/08 to £99m for the 2008/09 financial year. Chairman Andrew Tubbs said: ‘Our profit was hit hard because we chose to put people before profit. We delayed our restructuring programme for as long as possible last year, which means that the impact of these savings will start to take effect halfway through this financial year.’ The firm reported income falls in its corporate and property departments, blamed on a falling number of deals and investment projects being shelved. However, it reported growth in lender services, employment, litigation, debt recovery and insolvency. ‘Our priority for 2009/10 is to ensure that we are in the best possible shape for the future upturn in the market by continuing to look for more efficiencies and cost savings within the firm and to monitor capacity within our teams,’ said Tubbs. ‘We are focusing our efforts on client relationships because we recognise that they will light our way out of this recession.’last_img read more

Flaming flamenco

first_imgNow that’s enough about football. After April’s article about belly dancing, Obiter has received a ticking-off from clinical negligence solicitor Sarah Harman of London firm Harman & Harman for so far failing to include this picture of herself (right) and criminal solicitor colleague Sonia Antolin, who both dance flamenco with dance institution Flamenco Olivar. Harman chastises Obiter for not only neglecting to include the picture, but compounding matters by instead featuring ‘a long article about football’ last week. Harman says she and Antolin dance ‘not to escape glass ceilings’ but because they are ‘strong women’ and ‘flamenco is the ideal dance form for those not wanting to express themselves as delicate nymphs’. Harman adds that the dance is great fun because ‘it also allows for a lot of stamping about with a thunderous facial expression’. Gosh, who’s not paid their bill?last_img read more

Flexible working protocol launched

first_imgThe Law Society has launched a flexible working protocol for legal firms, after research last year identified resistance to the practice is the ‘single most significant obstacle’ to women reaching senior roles. The protocol presents a clear business case for flexible working, including the retention of key talent. It includes case studies highlighting successful lawyers who work flexibly in a variety of practice areas, including transactional work. Firms featured include Pinsent Masons, Allen & Overy and Addleshaw Goddard. Chancery Lane believes firms that are signed up to its Diversity and Inclusion Charter should adopt the commitment to flexible working outlined in the protocol. Although the protocol was driven by gender-based research, the Society stressed that it can also apply to men and is also relevant as an environmental sustainability tool.last_img read more

50 British architectural terms for the 21st century

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Hansom

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Garvis Snook’s path to power

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

The Prince of Wails

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

Stop navel-gazing and look up

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The task facing Paul Morrell

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more