UK law firms bank on emerging markets to ride out credit crunch

Law firms at all levels of the market are bracing themselves for an uncertain year, with management looking at geographic diversification as a means of mitigating tumultuous market conditions. For the magic circle in particular, the knock-on effect has been marked. While all four firms are adamant that their work pipelines remain robust, the consensus is that 2008 will be harder. Clifford Chance senior partner Stuart Popham said firms must be prepared to mobilise quickly in order to take advantage of opportunities as and when - and crucially where - they arise. Herbert Smith is going to use 2008 to build its alliance with Germany's Gleiss Lutz and Dutch firm Stibbe and will also up its Middle East focus with the launch of its Abu Dhabi office this month. Similarly, Slaughter and May practice partner David Frank insisted that his firm will be fostering its best friends relationships. SJ Berwin and Travers are also looking east in a bid to maintain growth amid stalling markets. Others, such as Allen & Overy (A&O), DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Norton Rose also noted the importance of Russia.

UK law firms bank on emerging markets to ride out credit crunch Tue, Jan 8, 2008