More international law firms centralizing business services
The trend among international law firms to centralize certain business functions is adding two more to the list and in one case, Asia-Pac could be impacted.
UK media reports say that Norton Rose Fulbright is to move 170 operation roles to the Philippines. The Manilla services centre is to open this September with 5 per cent of the firm’s global workforce affected.
It is believed that most of the roles impacted will be in the US, Europe, Africa and Middle East but the Law Society Gazette says 15 per cent will be from Asia-Pacific. This has not been confirmed by NRF.
However, the firm’s COO Mark Whitley told UK publication Legal Business: “This change will mean that we will have to take some tough decisions regarding our people.” No fee earners are affected.
Meanwhile, Dentons has confirmed that it is opening a central business services operation in Poland later this year.
The Warsaw-based unit will provide services including finance, business development and marketing, human resources and IT “predominantly” for its Europe, and UK Middle East and Africa (UKMEA) regions.
1 in 4 lawyers want to quit to start their own firm
If they had the capital, 23 per cent of lawyers would choose to quit their current job and start up on their own. A poll by specialist recruiter Robert Half Legal revealed that there was an 18 percentage point increase from the last time it polled lawyers in the US and Canada in 2005.
The barriers to starting a firm have reduced in that time, with technology playing a part in flexible working solutions, reducing the need for expensive premises.
However, Robert Half’s Charles Volkert warned: "Just because you can go solo doesn't mean you should. It takes an entrepreneurial mindset and a significant amount of time to develop a market presence and cultivate client relationships. It also means rolling up your sleeves to tackle administrative tasks, such as billing and calendaring, in addition to practicing law."
Judge has had enough of legal jargon
A prominent US judge says that there is no need to use legal jargon, peppered with Latin phrases. Richard Posner said that “Judicial opinions are littered with stale, opaque, confusing jargon” and advised that “everything judges do can be explained in straightforward language – and should be.”
In a subsequent interview Judge Posner said he was “very bothered” by the widespread use of legalese and blamed law schools for its continued proliferation.