Law firm prepares to comment …

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Aug 08, 2017
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It may be August but one London and South West law firm has pushed the boundaries of silly season announcements. Ashfords revealed yesterday – in slightly breathless terms – that it was “formulating a response” to a government consultation paper.

For those in the rest of the legal profession – and indeed the wider business community – concerned that the firm would let the Whitehall paper on “Financing Growth in Innovative Firms” slip by unnoticed, rest assured that Ashfords “will be asking their entrepreneurial, start-up and SME clients across the UK for their views on the government’s proposals and will submit their summary report ahead of the 22 September 2017 closing date”.

We look forward to future notifications throughout the summer season on where Ashford senior partners have been on their holidays and what the managing partner has had for his breakfast on the third Saturday of the month.

Bit early – or late – for going back to school

Summer silliness extends all the way to the upper echelons of the British legal profession. Allen & Overy, one of the City of London’s “magic circle” elite, is either having a bit of a laugh or its big-brained lawyers have comprehensively misunderstood journalists.

The firm announced yesterday that it was holding a “media summer school”. Journalists, the firm said, would be invited “to spend time with our lawyers to discuss some of the principles underpinning the markets in which our clients work”. All very noble and undoubtedly potentially useful – especially the suggestion that helpful lawyers would be on tap to explain the “more esoteric financial products such as credit derivatives, or the fast-evolving landscape of fintech”.

Now call The Brief cynical, but the words “school” and “journalists” do not immediately seem like happy bed fellows. Then again, perhaps Blue Bag is living in a different era when the only way this A&O gig would have a chance of success was if the firm held the session in the rub-a-dub.

But there is one faint flicker of hope that the lawyers have an appreciation for old-school hackery. “There will be an informal lunch between the morning and afternoon sessions,” said the announcement.

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