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Bloomsburry Family law

Risk & Compliance

Levelling the playing field: Managing the impact of discrimination and equal-pay laws

Law firms might have modernised dramatically in recent years, but there remains a reputation among many for being old boys’ clubs, with all the working inequalities the term implies. James Davies, joint head of the employment and incentives department at Lewis Silkin, explains what firms need to do to ensure that they meet legislative requirements for diversity and equal opportunities, while ensuring a better, happier workforce.

Clementi recommends...

Sir David Clementi, who was appointed in July 2003 to undertake a review of the regulation of legal services in England and Wales, has published his recommendations in a long-awaited report.

S&J opens new office

In America, Washington DC-based legal firm, Steptoe & Johnson has increased its business presence with the opening of new premises in New York, as well as the appointment of two partners.

Marry in haste, repent at leisure

The business case for merger might be strong, whether it is to create a full-service firm, plug gaps in service to key clients, increase expertise, expand the client base or achieve wider geographical coverage. There are, however, significant risks, the strategic aspects of which are the main focus of many firms. Frank Maher, partner at Legal Risk, however, argues that firms need to pay far more attention to the dangers of operational risk in negotiating and completing a merger.

Down to risk business

Regulatory pressures have forced firms to think about risk like never before, but that far from means that risk-management strategies have improved. Julia Graham, director of risk at DLA, argues that firms need to think beyond regulatory compliance to embrace enterprise-wide, business-continuity management, a discipline that will enable firms to face their tangible and intangible risks.


Bruce Gripton, head of the commercial services group at Eversheds, has considerable experience of partnership issues and has recently advised both his own and other firms on converting to limited-liability partnerships (LLP). Caroline Poynton talks to him about the Eversheds conversion and why it reflects a growing trend among professional firms.