Morning Briefing: Law firms among the best companies to work for

The annual list of the Fortune 100 best companies to work for features several law firms… International law firm elects new board members… New lead for NRF team in Asia… Australia v England, the battle is on… DLA Piper shows flat revenue but increased profits… Qatar says it has enough law firms and bans new ones

Law firms rank among the best companies to work for
The annual list of the Fortune 100 best companies to work for has been published in the US and a number of law firms have made the grade. Alston & Bird, Cooley, Perkins Coie and Arnold & Porter all feature in the league table, which is topped by Google, and is judged by metrics such as compensation, holidays, diversity and perks.
 
International law firm elects new board members
Simmons & Simmons has elected a new member to its board and re-elect another. Caroline Hunter-Yeats joins the board after 18 years with the firm, 7 of them as a partner. Alyson Lockett has been re-elected for a second term.
 
New lead for NRF team in Asia
Norton Rose Fulbright has hired David Johnson as a US capital markets/corporate partner in Hong Kong. A twenty-year veteran of Hong Kong, Johnson joins the firm from K&L Gates and was previously with Allen & Overy and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He will lead the US securities team in Asia.
 
Australia v England, the battle is on
A battle involving teams from Australia and England is nothing new, but this time it’s not cricket but law firms aiming for a win. The players:  Australia’s Slater & Gordon and England’s Irwin Mitchell. The prize: to be the most recognisable law firm brand in the UK. The two firms are among the largest in the UK with Slater & Gordon having more offices but Irwin Mitchell having more staff but both have now launched new logos and websites in the last few weeks in a bid to be the dominant legal brand.
 
DLA Piper shows flat revenue but increased profits
Despite recent deals to increase the size and reach of its global operations, DLA Piper has been tightening its financial belt over the last year and the policy appears to have worked. Newly revealed results show that revenue at the 80-office international firm stalled at US$2.48 billion in the 2014 financial year but profits were up 10 per cent to US$667 million and profit per equity partner increased by 13 per cent to US$1.49 million.
 
Qatar says it has enough law firms and bans new ones
A temporary ban has been imposed on new foreign law firms hoping to enter the Qatar Financial Centre after it assessed that there are enough to meet demand. Twenty-three firms currently hold licences to practice in the area and the QFC praised them for playing a vital role in developing the legal landscape but after meetings with the Qatari Lawyers Association it had decided to suspend the issuance of new licences while it considers allegations of rules being breached. 

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