WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
OPEN FOR BUSINESS – Representing one of the largest collaborations in the legal profession, a group of law firms and corporations has launched a digital platform to manage legal matters in an open-access environment. Lupl was incubated by the law firms Cooley, CMS and Rajah & Tann Asia—with input from an advisory board of 16 in-house lawyers and from Heidi Gardner, distinguished fellow at Harvard Law School. As Zach Warren and Rhys Dipshan report, the idea of Lupl is to integrate all systems and files on a matter into one single, mobile-friendly platform to give legal users easier access to their data and to enable sharing of information between law firms and in-house counsel.
PLANS – Wear masks, take attendance and appoint an office reopening team. That’s some of the guidance from the New York State Bar for when law firm offices restart. As Christine Simmons reports, the bar’s recommendations include developing one-way foot traffic patterns, staggering workstations and installing barriers for employees in high foot-traffic locations. Law firms are part of the state’s Phase II reopening, and Phase I begins in certain areas of the state Friday.
CITI’S TWO TALES – This year is proving to be a best of times/worst of times situation for major law firms. The latest Citi Private Bank report shows first quarter revenue growth of 6.5%, driven by a combination of 5.3% lawyer billing rate growth, 2.6% demand growth, and collections on year-end inventory. However, firms, thirsty for cash flow, now face declining demand and revenue, while expenses continue to mount.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
UNMOVED – Law firms Cooley and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are facing uncertain delays to their planned London office moves this year, Meganne Tillay reports. The disruption comes as several other firms signed for new leases this year in London, including Linklaters. Slaughter and May has been considering options to move out of its current space.
WHAT YOU SAID
“I’ve stopped using the words ‘going back to normal,’ because I don’t think we’re going back to whatever it was before.”