This week we’re all talking about…the credit crunch (again, again)

Yet again the credit crunch is having an impact on the legal profession.

The major City firms are, of course, always battling it out for new financial institution clients but as the banks look to sue each other over the sub-prime mortgages fiasco its the litigation teams that have their claws out.

As revealed this week (12 May) by Lawyer2Bs sister publication The Lawyer, CMS Cameron McKenna and Norton Rose have become the latest firms to reposition their disputes practices with a focus on the financial sector. See story.

This follows the likes of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), Eversheds, Herbert Smith and Lovells over the last 18 months overhauling their litigation groups.

Lovells global disputes head Patrick Sherrington says he has been refocusing the group over the last year to have sub-practices, including asset tracing and liability, to provide specialist services in the current litigious climate.

Sherrington says that firms need to be flexible enough to adapt to any situation. Its natural for conditions to change and we took the decision that we needed to have well-established people within the groups if we were to win clients, he explains.

Herbert Smith also completed its rejig more than a year ago to focus its litigation divisions along sector lines, such as financial institutions, for similar reasons.

As Sherrington, neatly put it, to sell clients the notion that a law firm can service them that firm must have a track record.

A firm cant simply one day say its one thing and turn round and say its another later on as clients simple will not buy it.

Lovells and Herbert Smith have been ahead of the game but have the likes of Camerons, BLP, Eversheds and Norton Rose left it too late to snap up the banks? You decide.