The Global Legal Post – US M&A deals top $1.5 trillion

The US M&A market delivered another year of strong performance in 2018, and M&A executives are optimistic about 2019, according to a new report.

The American Lawyer – Jones Day Holds an Edge as Firms Double Down on Brand Strategy

“We’ve seen law firms really start to take a more strategic approach to how they care about their brand and make sure that brand strategy is aligned with their growth strategy overall,” she said. “They’re understanding that the two go hand-in-hand.”

Legal Mosaic Legal Business Consulting – The Paul Weiss Class of 2018: A Broader View of Big Law Partnership and Priorities

There are several reasons why big law culture remains largely intact, notwithstanding cosmetic efforts that suggest change. The explanations include: (1) firms have long operated as restricted clubs with self-selecting membership and partnership criteria; (2) self-regulation and protectionist rules designed to prevent competition from “non-lawyers have perpetuated an insular, homogeneous culture; (3) a closed market where, until recently, firms had a virtual monopoly of legal talent—the only expertise firms traditionally sold– and could dictate terms of engagement to clients; (4) decentralized management structures that fostered autonomous partner fiefdoms; (5) profit-per-partner (PPP)  is the law firm Holy Grail, and all other firm initiatives—including cultural reforms—take a back seat; (6) partners have had little impetus to alter things— law remains “berry, berry good” to them; (7) clients have yet to “punish” firms for their culture; they rationalize sticking with them for risk mitigation, relationship, cost of moving,and other reasons; and (8) innovation of any type is stultified by the traditional partnership model that offers no financial incentive for greying partners—usually the firm’s key stakeholders—to “leave money on the table,” reinvest, and take a long-term view. Law firm culture will not fundamentally change so long as PPP is robust and legal buyers continue to engage firms whose cultures are inimical to their own.