Global Law Firms: Globalization and Organizational Spaces of Cross-Border Legal Work
Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 455-488, 2008
53 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2008
It is now widely accepted that the global law firm has arrived and is a central actor in the global economy. In this paper we seek to unravel the complexities of: (a) the factors driving the presence and absence of global law firms in different cities; and (b) the way that law firms have been reconfigured to operate as spatially integrated organizations present in cities as far a part as New York and Tokyo and London and Hong Kong. As we show, the decision 'to be there' (or not) and the intricacies of operating as a global organization are both issues that have unique peculiarities when examined in relation to law firms. Yet to date limited attention has been paid to these organizational peculiarities despite the fact that the effective organization of global firms is essential to deal with regulatory challenges and to allow transnational lawyering, the opening up of cross-border business opportunities and ultimately the diffusion of Anglo-America styles of legal service.
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