Editor's Letter


The month of March is all about women. In the US, Women’s History Month highlights the contributions made by women to the key events in history and society. Moreover, the 8th March is recognised as International Women’s Day, the organisers of which, under the banner #BalanceforBetter, call for a more gender-balanced world in 2019.

With gender diversity statistics in law firms remaining largely stagnant; the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales recently claiming chauvinist, bullying judges dissuade women from taking judicial posts; and Red Lion Chambers’ barrister Joanna Hardy making headlines for accusing male lawyers of behaving as if ‘on a stag do’, there is perhaps no better time to celebrate the achievements of women in law, encourage them in their careers, and call for greater balance and respect in the profession.

UK Solicitors editor Georgina Stanley profiles this year’s outstanding achievement winners – all seven of which are women – at The Legal 500 Awards 2019, and we hear from One Essex Court’s Jackie Ginty and Hardwicke’s Amanda Illing on what it means to win 2019’s clerk and CEO of the year awards.

Elsewhere, Greenberg Traurig partner Elizabeth Ross Hadley gives wannabe associates some advice on the best route to making it in Big Law, while Australia editor Andrea de Palatis speaks to a host of big name partners across Asia Pacific and Europe to consider whether women lawyers can ‘have it all’.

March is also that special time of year when the pomp and ceremony of the UK Bar is in full show. Of the 108 barristers and solicitors taking silk at Westminster Hall on 11th March, 30 are women. Among them is Outer Temple Chambers’ Fiona Horlick, who writes about what it means to become Queen’s Counsel a century after the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 granted women access to the Bar. Meanwhile, Michelle Heeley QC of No5 Barristers Chambers gives her top tips for those thinking of applying for silk this year.

This month’s issue also features a breakdown of our new China rankings from Bei Zhao; DLA Piper’s Roger Meltzer on why firms must drive social change; Kennedys’ Nick Thomas on why clients should see their lawyers as human beings; David Burgess on why law firms should treat their reception teams with more respect; and Baker McKenzie’s Esteban Raventós on the importance of adapting to the thinking of new lawyers; plus much, much more from Dechert, CMS, and LABLAW Studio Legale.

As always, please email me with your feedback on this issue and with your suggestions for articles in future issues (john.vdld@legal500.com).

John van der Luit-Drummond

Joseph E Neuhaus

Hall of fame: Joseph E Neuhaus

Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Joseph E Neuhaus talks about his successful work and predicts the biggest challenge for clients over the next year.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability? Among many cases I have handled or been a part of over 30 years, the one I am proudest of is probably representing the Central Bank of Argentina in resisting attempts by creditors of the Republic of Argentina to hold the bank liable …

Brexit fears are overstated

Practice area spotlight: Fintech

Despite uncertain times in the UK, Chris Hill of Kemp Little believes the future is bright for UK fintech

Please give us an overview of the current legal market in the UK and how any recent developments have impacted your practice? The UK fintech market has been very busy over the last year, and appears not to have been significantly impacted by Brexit as yet. We are starting to see legal work in fintech …

Paul Pohl

Hall of fame: Paul Pohl

Paul Pohl discusses how Jones Day LLP is adapting to changing client needs.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability? Professional: Getting an injunction for religious objectors against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate in Zubik v. Burwell; Becoming the Head of Jones Day’s Business and Tort Litigation Group. Personal (Excluding family happiness – wife, kids, grandkids) Being honored by The U.S. Marine …

Technology outpaces legislation

Practice area spotlight: Fintech

The Ukraine’s regulators are ready to cooperate with the business in search
of compromise, says Sergii Papernyk of Evris Law Firm

Please give us an overview of the current legal market in the Ukraine and how any recent developments have impacted your practice? At present, the legal market in Ukraine is characterised by the high level of competition that makes law firms look for the new niches of economy and develop those practices that have not …

Robert W Zelnick

Hall of fame: Robert W Zelnick

Robert W Zelnick talks about his successful work at McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability? I was first-chair trial counsel for a major boat manufacturer, which was sued under a then-new federal law that protected ornamental boat designs. This was the first federal court case to consider the new law, and the case included additional trade dress and …

William Perkins

Hall of fame: William Perkins

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability? Receiving a Cornerstone award for pro bono legal representation of a not for profit organization that provides employment, education, health, legal, social, business development and youth services in Flatbush, Brooklyn. What do you do differently from your peers in the industry? Because I …

Yasmine Tarasewicz

Hall of fame: Yasmine Tarasewicz

Yasmine Tarasewicz predicts the biggest challenge for clients in the face of new potential legislation.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability? Having trained a new generation of lawyers who have impressive legal skills but are also business-minded, client-oriented and conscious of their social responsibilities. What do you do differently from your peers in the industry? Thanks to our international mindset, my team focuses first …

Why I became a lawyer? Curiosity and youthful rebellion

Interview with: Esteban Raventós

The newest member of Baker McKenzie’s global executive committee talks about entrenching diversity, innovation, and adapting to the thinking of new lawyers.

Tell us about yourself and your practice? I have always been practicing in tax in two main areas: tax transactions and wealth management. Over the last 20 years, I have had management roles in the firm, both locally as managing partner of the Barcelona office, and regionally and globally within my specialty, taxation. In addition, …

On the shoulders of giants

The Bar

Fiona Horlick QC explains what it means to take silk a century after women obtained the right to enter the profession and why it’s important the next generation sees more female leaders.

It is both a proud and humbling moment to be selected for appointment to silk after a rigorous selection process. But it is especially so for a woman in the centenary anniversary year of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, the legislation that removed the bar on women joining the profession. The 100 years since …

‘There is corruption at all levels’

Interview with: Juan Camilo Rodríguez

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero’s managing partner talks about the challenges facing lawyers in Colombia and the positive impact of his firm’s recent integration into the CMS fold.

How would you define your firm’s culture? How important is that culture to you? Our firm’s culture is based on team work. We work together towards the same goals and objectives. The foundation of our work is based on strong values and principles that guide us to always be client centric and work towards protecting …