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A big week for BigLaw: What’s hot in law (13-17 Mar)

Some of the largest firms operating in Australia made some waves in the news this past week — and not all for the reasons they’d want. Here is your weekly round-up of the biggest news stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconLawyers Weekly 18 March 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 13 March to 17 March, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1.   Mills Oakley hires 3 new partners
National firm Mills Oakley has welcomed three new partners to its ranks from several rival firms in Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

  1.   Dentons offers extra week of leave, increases parental leave entitlements
Global law firm Dentons is providing its Australian employees with an additional five days of bonus leave every year, which it says is to encourage staff to “take the time to recharge”, and has also upped its provisions for parental leave.

 
 

  1.   What Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse means for lawyers
Last week, the Silicon Valley Bank — once worth over $200 billion — collapsed, in what’s being described as one of the largest banking failures in US history. Here, lawyers delve into what went wrong and what effect this “timely reminder” could have on the Australian market.

  1.   Workplace partners ‘inundated’ with huge uptick in work
As one BigLaw partner in employment and workplace relations told Lawyers Weekly, “I have just come off my biggest month in 22 years of legal practice.”

  1.   Wave of COVID divorces hit the courts
A record wave of marriage break-ups that occurred through COVID-19 has hit Australian courts. Partners, principals, and lawyers from family firms discuss the reasons and how lawyers should advise.

  1.   IPH facing cyber breach
ASX-listed firm IPH Limited is the latest company to suffer a cyber security breach — and halted trading earlier this week as a result.

  1.   Aussie lawyers are (almost certainly) exhausted. What can be done?
Exhaustion is shaping up to be a significant issue in the legal profession in the current climate, with some causative factors stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and in the face of a potential economic downturn.

  1.   AI-powered ‘robot lawyer’ facing lawsuit
The world’s first “robot lawyer” has been hit with class action proceedings in the United States for alleged unauthorised practice of law.

  1.   Dentons to combine with PJS Law in the Philippines
Dentons, which has five offices across Australia, is set to combine with Philippine law firm PJS Law as the firm looks to shore up its position in south-east Asia.

  1. Who is liable for life-altering injuries incurred by professional athletes?
In light of a looming class action set to be brought by former players against the AFL, the question is being raised: for professional athletes playing high-impact sports, who is liable for their life-altering injuries? Several personal injury lawyers and the head of distribution from a brain health organisation discuss this.