Morning Briefing: The great struggle for lawyers to act ethically

Lawyers struggle to be ethical, according to study… China opens up opportunities for foreign firms… Stephenson Harwood hires partner from Clyde & Co… Revenue boost for Osborne Clarke…

Lawyers struggle to be ethical according to study
A new study reveals that 60% of lawyers find it hard to “do the right thing”. The poll of solicitors, barristers and law students was conducted by the University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues found that 16% would accept advice from a colleague to round up their billing hours. This is at odds with the view of respondents that lawyers should be honest and show good judgment. Ultimately the report recommends that ethics education for lawyers should be reviewed.

China opens up opportunities for foreign firms
Newly announced plans by the Chinese government will allow accredited foreign law firms to co-operate with Chinese ones in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Currently foreign firms are not allowed to litigate cases or hire Chinese lawyers but the pilot scheme will allow Chinese firms to assign lawyers to representative offices of foreign firms and vice versa. Although co-operating firms must stay as separate legal entities they will be allowed to share offices and support staff. The changes are part of China’s wider plan to reform legal services.

Stephenson Harwood hires partner from Clyde & Co
Stephenson Harwood has appointed Lynia Lau as a partner in China to head its Energy & Resources group in Beijing. She joins from Clyde & Co where she was a partner and chief representative of the Beijing office.

Revenue boost for Osborne Clarke
Osborne Clarke has announced growth in revenue of 17% for the first half of its 2014/15 financial year to AU$ 112million. The firm has seen international expansion in the past year with alliances in India and Hong Kong and will have a new managing partner in January when Ray Berg takes over the role from Simon Beswick who will continue as the firm’s international CEO. 
 

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