In-house legal teams on the rise; Mayer Brown announces new consulting team

by NZ Lawyer25 Jul 2014
Financial and insurance legal heads bringing more work in-house
Eighty per cent of chief litigation officers in the financial services and insurance industries say they are not delegating more of the company’s legal work to outside counsel than they did 12 months ago, according to a new survey by Consero Group. In addition, 36 per cent of survey participants say they have increased their use of alternative fee arrangements over the last year. The firm’s research also found that many in-house teams are being given increased budgets to deal with cases themselves rather than use third parties. For law firms this is clearly a concern and is likely to hasten implementation of alternative fee arrangements for those not already offering them.
Consulting team moves to Mayer Brown
Mayer Brown has announced the establishment of Mayer Brown Consulting in Singapore to advise clients on a wide range of Asia-focused international trade matters including WTO issues, international trade policies, customs, export controls and anti-dumping investigations. 
The new consulting unit will be staffed by five highly experienced customs and international trade advisors based in Asia, headed by Chief Executive Officer Cecil Leong in Singapore. The team is largely made up of Leong’s team from Bryan Cave Consulting who are moving with him. Duane Layton, co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global Government & Global Trade practice said: “We are seeing increasing demand from clients doing business in Asia who regularly need advice on a variety of trade and customs issues, and Cecil and his team have the experience and skills to satisfy that demand.”

Clifford Chance launches new management structure
New managing partner Matthew Layton had promised a streamlining of the Clifford Chance management and that promise has been kept. The firm has announced that the practice group representation on its new 12-strong management committee will be cut from six to three. This change reflects three new global business units; financial markets; M&A and corporate transactions; and risk management and disputes. The new executive leadership group will be in effect from the start of September and the new heads of the global business units will be announced before that. The changes mean that some of the current practice heads with seats on the board will no longer be part of the top team. 
K&L Gates launches product to assist with legal & compliance risk
K&L Gates has launched Global Boardroom Risk Solutions, a unique cross-disciplinary and cross-office program that assists in-house lawyers, directors, and management in identifying, evaluating, mitigating, and responding to risk in various forms, including legal, regulatory, compliance, and governance issues. With law firms increasingly tasked with providing prevention strategies as well as cures, providing these sorts of advice services is an increasingly effective way to engage and retain clients.