Friday, June 15, 2012

IFLR1000 - International Financial Law Review - Guide to Leading Financial Law Firms Worldwide

The IFLR1000 of the International Financial Law Review is a "Guide to World's Leading Financial Law Firms" and thus uses somewhat different criteria for assessing law firms than those of the Legal500, Vault 100 or the AmLaw 100.

For example, the IFLR1000 at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Americas Awards in New York on March 29, 2012 awarded my former law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul|Weiss) the "M&A Deal of the Year" Award for their role in the Rockstar Bidco $4.5 billion acquisition of Nortel Networks and 6000 patents.

Take a look at the media and entertainment client list at that last link.
Serving the world.
So how do you rank anything like that?

It is of course safe to say that many of the other BigLaw law firms -- not just Paul|Weiss -- are also greatly involved in major deals and major business projects of great importance to the economic and social welfare of numerous nations around the world.

Hey, that's their job.

BigLaw provides the legal and organizational oil and expertise necessary to enable the turning of the wheels of the world economy and social order
... and a whole lot more.

Legal500 Lists of Top Law Firms By Practice Specialty and Location: Different Criteria than Vault Law 100 or The AmLaw 100 2012

The Legal500 reviews law firms worldwide by practice specialty and location. 

This differs from the criteria used for ranking at the Vault Law 100 (see our previous posting), or different ranking criteria at The AmLaw 100 2012.

An example would be the practice specialty litigation in the USA, for example, where my former law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul|Weiss), for example, is ranked at or near the top, year after year, and has always had great strength historically in that particular professional field.

The Legal500 reviews of the BigLaw law firms are far more detailed than the short excerpts given here below, but the Legal500 writes about Paul, Weiss, for example, as follows as regards two law practice specialties:
  • in securities shareholder litigation:

    "Considered ‘a “go to” firm for big ticket or sensitive corporate litigation’, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP strikes exactly the right chord with clients who praise it as ‘absolutely the best in all categories: highly knowledgeable, practical, very responsive – they are valued counsellors’."

  • in white-collar criminal defense:
"The ‘top-notch’ team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is ‘superb in all ways’ and a ‘market leader in the white-collar space’. Benefiting from a ‘very deep bench and a wide range of experience’, the firm’s breadth of knowledge ranges from securities and tax fraud to FCPA abuses and government contract fraud."
See the Legal500 comprehensive comments on ALL practice areas here.

One thus has to get away from the idea that you can rank an entire "BigLaw" law firm exactly like a football team. There are many and diverse components and considerations that play a role.

Besides, every law firm has its own "culture".
As an example,
take a look at the Paul|Weiss principles,
which are unique.

Law Firm Rankings 2012 in the USA by Vault

See the Vault dot com Top 100 law firm rankings
for 2012 for the USA
at Law Firm Rankings: Vault Law 100.

We are not in complete agreement with this list
in its rank of law firms as such,
but it does give some idea of who the big players are
in the American legal profession.

In our opinion, our former law firm Paul|Weiss is still the best.
It all depends on what your ranking criteria happen to be.

Skype has 250 Million Users so Ads Could be a Money-Machine for Microsoft

We use Skype and "conversation ads" are not going to keep us from using this great voice-over-Internet service (VoIP). Indeed, we are probably not much different from 250 million other monthly Skype users.

Hence, the conversation ads just introduced on 1:1 audio calls on Skype could be a money machine for Microsoft, which last year acquired the company.

Just last month, Nick Wingfield at the New York Times examined Microsoft at Work on Meshing Its Products With Skype. It is definitely worth a read to keep up on where Skype and Microsoft are headed.

Skype Launches Conversation Ads on 1:1 Audio Calls

We were expecting the introduction of Skype ads on 1:1 audio calls ever since Microsoft acquired Skype so we are not at all surprised to read at Skype - The Big Blog that Skype has launched "conversation ads" on 1:1 audio calls.

We use Skype and it is a great concept at the price of an Internet connection, so we have nothing against advertising to finance the software service as long as it remains clean and is not too intrusive.

We always thought Skype was a great Microsoft acquisition, so we will have to see if it turns out to be a money-maker for them.

Mobile Wallets are the Future for Everything You Now Carry in Your Wallet

Galen Gruman has a nice piece at InfoWorld dot com titled Forget mobile payments. The future is the mobile wallet.

The idea of a mobile wallet is that everything you carry in your wallet can be transfered to a smartphone. It makes eminent sense.

Obama vs Romney Twitter Tweets

Obama vs. Romney: Comparing the Tweets [INFOGRAPHIC] is a popular emerging story by Alex Fitzpatrick at Mashable.

Mashable Reports Mobile Wallets and Fears of Big Banks

The Business News Daily at Mashable reports on Big Banks Fear Losing Consumers to Mobile Wallets.

Mobile Wallets (M-Wallets) in Banking: RBS Allows Card-Free ATM withdrawals

Your smartphone as your M-Wallet?

RBS follows mobile wallet trend with card-free ATM withdrawals is the headline of a story by Liat Clark at, with the Royal Bank of Scotland thus becoming the first bank in the UK to allow cash withdrawals via smartphone. M-Wallets reduces bank transaction costs and are a convenience for bank customers.

Mobile Wallets and Role of Banks at Mobile Banking and Commerce Summit in San Francisco

Lots of new things coming our way as consumers in the onmarching digital age, e.g. stuff like barcode-enabled "near proximity" payments.

At American Banker dot com John Adams has the story about Mobile Wallets and the role of banks, reporting on the Mobile Banking and Commerce Summit in San Francisco.

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