Morning Briefing: Slater & Gordon will keep Quindell separate

Quindell’s legal services division will not be part of the main Slater & Gordon company… Large law firms picking up more IP work… Bankrupt: Law firm says it grew too fast… BLP announces increased revenue… Sidley Austin expands in Singapore…

Slater & Gordon will keep Quindell separate
Quindell’s legal services division will not be part of the main Slater & Gordon company. Slater’s UK chair Neil Kinsella told a conference in London on Tuesday that the two will operate as separate entities and that the way Slater’s operates will not change. He said that the law firm will handle the complex cases with the legal services acquisition focused on efficiently handling low-level cases.
Large law firms picking up more IP work
Large law firms are using junior partners to offer lower-cost solutions for intellectual property litigation. A report from LexisNexis CounselLink found that while smaller firms have been gaining work from larger firms in many practices it is not the case in IP. In firms with 201-500 lawyers partners billed more hours than in the larger (750+ lawyer) firms. The larger firms have cut rates from US$656 in 2011 to $622 in 2014, while the smaller firms have increased hourly rates from US$560 to $651 in the same period. The report shows that larger firms are using creative staffing solutions to enable a more competitive rate.
Bankrupt: Law firm says it grew too fast
In a cautionary tale for ambitious law firms a Florida-based firm that closed suddenly last week “grew too fast” according to its former CEO and senior partner. Butler & Hosch closed its doors last week with hundreds of lawyers and back office staff losing their jobs in Florida and Texas. The firm, which has been practicing for almost 35 years is dealing with courts in a procedure similar to bankruptcy. Bob Hosch, one of the firm’s founders, who was CEO and senior partner until he resigned last week, told staff that the firm was not able to merge processes from its acquisitions fast enough to meet economic forecasts, leading to cash flow issues. Ironically the firm’s main area of practice was mortgage foreclosures and bankruptcy.
BLP announces increased revenue
International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner has announced its latest financial report showing a growth in turnover of 6 per cent for 2014/15 to £259 million (AU$507 million) and profits per equity partner up 22 per cent to £659,000 (AU$1.29 million). The firm has continued to grow its international client base and the arrival of Bob Charlton as head of Asia as well as the hire of nine lawyers in Hong Kong positions the Asian offices strongly for the year ahead.
Sidley Austin expands in Singapore
Sidley Austin has expanded its Singapore practice with the hire of Charlie Wilson as an M&A and private equity partner. Wilson has 17 years of experience in the market and joins from White & Case. 

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