Morning Briefing: Women take charge of big law; Deloitte won't follow KPMG

by NZ Lawyer03 Oct 2014
Women take the reins of big law… Solicitors disciplinary action increases in UK… Deloitte will not follow KPMG into the law business… Zicolaw expands Vietnam operation…

Women take the reins of big law
Two big law US firms now have women in charge; still relatively rare in the profession. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius now has a new chair in Jami Wintz McKeon who has three decades of management experience. She succeeds Francis M. Milone who has been chair for fifteen years. Meanwhile at Bryan Cave Therese Pritchard takes the chair following on from Don Lents after 10 years. Other notable women in charge of large US firms include Akin Gump’s Kim Koopersmith and Jerry K. Klements of Locke Lord.

Deloitte will not follow KPMG into the law business
Following the granting of an alternative business structure licence to KPMG this week allowing the accountancy giant to enter the law business, fellow ‘big four’ firm Deloitte has ruled itself out of talking a similar route. Speaking at the Future of law Summit, Deloitte partner Mark Shaw said that the firm is giving strategy advice to law firms but has no intention of setting up a legal advice arm.

Solicitors disciplinary action increases in UK
The Solicitors Regulatory Authority has reported an increase in the number of disciplinary cases it has dealt with is 55 per cent higher this year compared to 2013. The SRA opened 90 new cases in the first 8 months of this year. Many cases involve poor financial management. The regulator says that it is not just smaller firms that end up being brought before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal; many larger firms also find themselves there too although they frequently have large financial resources and sometimes use ‘delaying tactics’ to create obstacles for regulatory staff.

Zicolaw expands Vietnam operation
Malaysian firm Zicolaw is expanding its presence in Vietnam. The firm has hired Phuong Nguyen from Mayer Brown to head up the new office in Hanoi which will complement the two year old office in Ho Chi Minh City. Zicolaw has grown across the Asean bloc with only the Philippines and Brunei left to reach. The firm has been in existence since 1987 and operates in Australia by its original name Zaid Ibrahim & Co.