A Law Star’s Views on London’s Big Law Pay War

A Law Star's Views on London's Big Law Pay War 2

Law Star Natasha Harrison, the lawyer who left the top job at Boies Schiller to set up her own shop in London, was interviewed recently about the London law firm bonus and pay war to retain legal talent at a time when the boom days have largely ended.

Interestingly, the focus for Harrison, who now runs Pallas Partners and has been not just a leading litigator in banking and other areas, but also a leader in fighting for gender diversity in the law, it was largely the quality of work and environmental and diversity issues (Pallas intend to be carbon neutral by 2025) that was helping attract and retain top lawyers.

She told CityAM in the interview that for her eight partner firm, which has both London and New York offices, was set up to handle top end litigation where the firm has cut through bureaucratic barriers and permitted itself to partner with best-in-class litigators in different centers, rather than opening offices all over the globe.

While she talks of the excitement of working with a new, innovative law firm handling major litigation and related work, she does not see the British legal arena becoming overwhelmed by the US law firm model.

“This is an exciting time to be a litigator in England.  We are seeing an increased appetite for securities litigation claims, which traditionally UK investors have not engaged in, together with an upsurge in group actions. 

“All of this is being fuelled by litigation finance.  Having said that, I believe there are enough checks and balances in the UK system which means we will not transform into the litigious society that characterises the US, including the fact that we don’t have punitive damages and have maintained an adverse costs regime.”

Retaining an atmosphere and environment to attract talented lawyers may take money, but there is another element to ambitious lawyers who have also a socially-aware ambition to better the world and their profession.

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