Morning Briefing: Client waivers are not the final word

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Client waivers are not the final word
The use of client waivers when law firms merge has been brought into question by a judge in the US. The intention of the waivers is to allow merging firms to represent both sides if a dispute arises between the legacy firms’ clients. However it has now been shown that such clauses may not protect a firm from being disqualified from acting for both sides. The issue arose from Squire Patton Boggs representing the plaintiffs in a false-advertising case. Bloomberg reports that the judge disqualified the merged firm from representing one of the defendants which had been a client of the legacy Patton Boggs. The defendant said that it had not seen the clause in the engagement letter and its general counsel said that if they had seen it they would not have agreed to it.
K&L Gates revenue sees slight decline
The latest accounts for international law firm K&L Gates reveal a slight dip in revenue, down 1.2 per cent last year to US$1.145 billion and revenue per lawyer remaining at US$587,000; profits per equity partner was also flat. Fluctuations in the dollar value have been cited as the reason.
White & Case revenue increases moderately
White & Case has posted an increase in revenues for 2014, up 4 per cent to US$1.5 billion. Revenue per lawyer increased 5 per cent to US$800,000 and profits per equity partner were up 7 per cent to US$2 million.
Lawyers should not criticise judges, says a judge
A judge from the Indian Supreme Court says that lawyers should not criticise judges as it could mean “demolishing the trust of people in the judiciary”. Speaking at a lecture over the weekend Judge S J Mukhopadhaya said that lawyers should play a key role in ensuring the “independence of the judiciary” the Indian Times reports. Mukhopadhaya expressed concern that if lawyers express their dissatisfaction with the judiciary and the people lose faith in the rule of law then government will step in and the independence of the judiciary will be affected.