Saturday, August 2, 2008

Can A London Office Of A NYC Firm Develop Its Own Euro Client Base?

That is the goal--not only to service the firm's U.S. clients in a UK office but to expand an independent client base--and apparently it's starting to be the result, of Skadden Arps's London ofiice.  Here is a recent story in UK's (the online version of the City's legal paper The Lawyer), an article called The world is Skadden’s playground as European arm flexes US muscle.   

The upshot seems to be that established UK law firms claim that Skadden will never have the volume and depth of UK clients as do more traditional English solicitor firms, but maybe the firm's M&A wing does not really care as long as it's in the major deals:  "Skadden wants to be involved in the biggest global deals, which are inevitably cross-border and reliant on major banks. In this arena the firm is already king. The London team is being kept busy, for example, by the UK side of Anheuser-Busch’s defence against a hostile bid by Stella Artois owner InBev."  For Skadden, I guess, it is both a defence and a defense.

I found this, as suggested to his students, by Miami/UK's John Flood while I was tooling around on the "public" blog of his abbreviated Global Lawyering class (at the U. of Miami's summer abroad program that just ended). It has links to pieces on China, global crime, global cities, and our own Bill Henderson's posts on the bimodal salary spikes and the Cravath model.  I hope John does not mind that I have linked to the class website, as it is really interesting though brief.  John's more consistently maintained blog is at Random Academic Thoughts (RATs), but I hope he will keep his other running courses -- especially the longer ones -- just as public and share the links with us.  I suspect some of our U.S. law-prof readers, at least, have considered developing a full semester course in Global Lawyering (as John has too) and could use John's input (OK, steal John's intellect).  That will have to do until we can get John back in the U.S. for another stint at teaching U.S. students, unless his UK gig has some distance-learning facilities.  Anyway, thanks, John, for a great year at the University of Miami, not only for that school but for all of us able to follow the adventure along with you on your RATs site.

[Alan Childress]

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