Breakingviews

Law firms face same merger risks as their clients

November 16, 2012

There may be sensible reasons for Norton Rose and Fulbright & Jaworski to unite and for SNR Denton to seek a three-way tie-up. Cross-border deals can help serve companies going global. But culture, pay and conflicts are hard to manage. The danger is sacrificing quality for scale.

Bigger bucks come to Supreme Court clerks who wait

October 3, 2012

Top U.S. law firms are offering $280,000 signing bonuses to lure the best young lawyers. But many do stints with the government first. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how that path can be financially smarter over the long run. Uncle Sam gets to hire the best talent, too.

China mistakes foreign law firms for Party poopers

August 13, 2012

They’re dealmakers, not threats to communist rule. Yet China’s wary leaders won’t license them. That’s no way to lure overseas investment. Change must wait until a tense murder case and political transition passes. But economic preeminence won’t come without global lawyers’ help.

Law site’s IPO evokes a future beyond dying firms

May 16, 2012

It’s coincidence that LegalZoom’s $120 mln float is coming as Dewey & LeBoeuf evaporates. But the rise of the U.S. online legal document site is a warning to old-line lawyers. There’s plenty of work for savvy legal eagles, but those who aren’t lean and innovative could perish.