View from the top: when the Senior Partner of Slaughter and May gives his insight on the eurozone, or post-crisis regulation, it’s just that. The partners at his firm act for the leading players – whether states or financial institutions – that are in the thick of it in relation to these issues. In addition, Chris Saul’s candid discussion during the IBA’s live webcast in March (see Global leaders) provides a timely taster of what might be to come at the Association’s Group Member Summit to be hosted at the Magic Circle firm’s Bunhill Row offices in London at the end of May.
In this edition of IBA Global Insight, we also have features that capture – and scrutinise – the views from the upper echelons of the global business community. The great pay debate considers how, in the wake of major corporate scandals and in the midst of a crisis necessitating widespread austerity, the gap, now larger than ever, between the highest paid and those on the less stratospheric levels of remuneration that are considered average earnings, is continuing to grow. No one wants to stifle entrepreneurial spirit, of course, and, just to add to the challenge, those seeking sensible ways of achieving moderation – and a measure of fairness – know all too well that rules are, more often than not, viewed as an invitation to find creative ways round them.
Meanwhile, our feature on discrimination (See feature A woman’s lot) assesses efforts to redress the remarkable imbalance at the top of the legal profession. Despite large numbers of women entering the law, the numbers making it to the top remain woefully small. One recent survey of top 50 law firms in England and Wales revealed that while 60 per cent of newly qualified lawyers were women, more than five out of six law firm partners were men. Among the Magic Circle firms, women made up just 14.5 per cent of the partnerships. This is a theme that will be revisited both as part of the IBA’s 2012 webcast series and at the Association’s World Women Lawyers’ Conference towards the end of April.