While Bruce MacEwen talks pricing pressure, Bank of America finds a new way to cut its legal fees. Australian M&A is down, but women leaders are on the rise around the industry. Oh, and a recent law school grad made a music video.
- Many in the industry are buzzing about an interview Bruce MacEwen of the blog Adam Smith Esq. did with Bloomberg Law last week. MacEwen discussed the extremes some law firms are going to in order to compete in the new era of excess capacity and pricing pressure: “That’s what some big law firms have been doing in what I call these ‘suicidal pricing submissions’ in response to RFPs… They just want to get the business.” The most interesting part of the interview, however, is when MacEwen explains how law firms can get back on track. Among the suggestions: de-leveraging, reducing partner compensation, and hiring pricing directors.
- Legal Week Intelligence’s eighth annual IT report found that one in five firms was hit by a cyber attack in the past year. In an ominous statement, Taylor Wessing’s IT director Stuart Walters told Legal Week that “if cyber attackers are really good, you wouldn’t recognize an attack even if one had been carried out.”
- Bank of America is asking certain of its outside law firms to give the bank a credit based on business the bank sends to the firms according to Corporate Counsel. The credit would be applied to the bank’s legal fees. Critics believe the practice amounts to kickbacks or “pay to play.”
- Australasian Legal Business, reporting on the latest Thomson Reuters M&A Review, informs us that Australian-involved M&A activity is down more than 50 percent compared to last year. Despite the decline, M&A involving Asian companies continues to boom in Australia, increasing 6.8 percent in the first nine months of 2012.
- ALB also has a round-up of recent deals in the Southeast Asian market, if you’re interested.
- Per Legal Week, Hogan Lovells has announced a new initiative to boost gender diversity in its partnership ranks. The firm has set a ten-year target to achieve the goal of seeing women represent 30% of its partners. King & Wood Mallesons, Ashurst and Eversheds have also announced similar initiatives this year. We will have more on Hogan Lovell’s announcement, and the subject of women in law firm management, later this week.
- Meanwhile, several firms promoted women to their highest office for the first time. Akin Gump just elected its first female chairwoman, New York-based partner Kim Koopersmith, the Blog of the Legal Times reports. And according to The Lawyer, offshore firm Walkers has elected Cayman partner Ingrid Pierce as its new global managing partner.
- USLegal, one of the largest online legal information and forms companies in the country, has been acquired by an investment group led by Jacoby & Meyers and The Cochran Firm.
And finally: it turns out you really can do just about anything with a law degree. Above the Law featured a music video created by recent Yale Law School grad Josiah Pertz. The video, which features current and former Yale Law students, is like a miniature episode of Glee with special guest star Harry Connick Jr., but fair warning, the song is kind of catchy.