Morning Briefing: Top law brands are the firms that can adapt; Litigation outlook for 2015

Which firm has topped the Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index?… how the litigation market may shape up in the next year… two Adelaide firms set to merge today… Clooney wedding puts lawyer in the gossip columns…

Top law brands are the firms that can adapt
Baker & McKenzie has maintained its position as the brand that’s adapting most successfully to the changing market. The firm tops the Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index compiled by research firm Acritas for the 5th year in a row. The index shows that it is the firms that are adapting to clients' needs and have a collaborative working style and value focus that are the dominant brands. Clifford Chance, Norton Rose Fulbright, DLA Piper and Linklaters complete the top 5. King & Wood Mallesons and Herbert Smith Freehills are among the other rising stars in the list. The CEO of Acritas Lisa Hart Shepherd says it is important for firms to have a clear and well-defined offer that really shows an understanding of client needs. Firms shouldn’t be afraid to be different she says, and to communicate that difference. It is also important for firms looking to have a global reputation to have a strong presence in the US, which is still driving much of the international business, although those with regional reputations are still making the lower ranks of the index.
Litigation outlook for 2015
Consulting firm BTI has just completed its research among General Counsel into how the litigation market may shape up in the next year. The two main trends are that clients are improving their management of more complex litigation; handling more cases in house, and more than half of the GCs surveyed have replaced at least one of their core litigation firms in the last 18 months. The good news on the first point is that BTI expects the situation to change and long term for more work to be outsourced again. On the second point, firms that are winning new work are winning larger proportions of the work. The key things that clients are looking for when choosing a new firm are: faster turnaround times, more innovative approaches, better client service and systematic approaches to settlements, early case assessment and flexible billing. They also want to use a smaller number of firms who have better knowledge of the client’s business.
Adelaide firms merge today
Two Adelaide law firms are merging today. Fox Tucker Lawyers and Donaldson Walsh will now be the 80-staff strong firm of DW Fox Tucker with Janet Miller CEO of Fox Tucker taking the same role in the merged firm. The managing partners of the legacy firms will continue in their roles.
Clooney wedding puts lawyer in the gossip columns
Amal Alamuddin is the lawyer gaining the most media attention right now having married George Clooney at the weekend. Alamuddin is a human rights lawyer, part of Doughty Street Chambers which has been forced to strengthen its website servers due to a huge increase in hits to the site. The site has also been bombarded with press enquiries since the couple announced their engagement. 

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