Morning Briefing: 2015 tipped to be a good year for law firms

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In-house expenditure set to grow and law firms will benefit, if the price is right
Optimistic research shows that the legal profession is set for a good year ahead with both in-house and external teams benefitting. The report by the Consero Group shows that 34 per cent of chief litigation officers say their teams have grown in the past year and 58 per cent expect their expenditure to increase during 2015. The respondents forecast to increase spending on external counsel by 46 per cent. However, with 72 per cent saying that they are under greater pressure to be more efficient and manage their spend better there will be further demand for flexible pricing from law firms. Other findings include 33 per cent of CLO’s planning to use a wider range of law firms and 51 per cent expecting to use smaller firms for some work.

Top 10 law firms for LGBT workplaces
Ten of the largest global law firms have been named in an annual list of the most gay-friendly workplaces in the UK by Stonewall. Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Pinsent Masons all made the top 10. There were top 100 places for Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, CMS Cameron McKenna, Eversheds, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Norton Rose Fulbright and K&L Gates. 

Hogan Lovells changes international arbitration management
Hogan Lovells has streamlined the management of its international arbitration practice with the departure of Simon Nesbitt from the London office. The practice was co-headed by Nesbitt and Miami-based Daniel Gonzalez, who is believed to be the new sole-head of the practice. Nesbitt decided to step down from his role to become a QC but will continue as a consultant for Hogan Lovells in the short term. 

Litigation costs US & EU banks around US$300 billion
Big banks in the US and Europe have spent heavily on litigation according to a research note from Morgan Stanley. Regulators in both jurisdictions have been investigating and penalising financial institutions for manipulating market conditions and breaching sanctions. The cost of litigation is estimated at US $230 billion so far with another $70 billion to come.