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 REZA BANAKARI just heard that my friend and colleague, Reza Banakar, died from kidney cancer. He was Professor of Sociology of Law at Lund University. Before that we were colleagues at the University of Westminster. I greatly valued his collegiality and friendship. Sometimes I felt he and I were the only ones who knew what we were talking about.Reza was a great ally of the Research Committee on…
This is Queensbridge Road in Hackney, London and inside the building you see is my flat. Its refurbishment has just been completed and the flat’s photos are up on the architects’ website. I love it. It is even more minimalist than my previous house in Hackney. My area is typical Hackney. I’m next to the canal, close to London Fields and my neighbour is as cool as you can get: (thanks to…
The last time I encountered Rene Thom’s Catastrophe Theory was when I was writing my PhD thesis on law firms. I wanted to show how law firm mergers were an all or nothing occurrence in that you couldn’t have a gradual merger.Thom’s ideas are based on a number of sources but the easiest one to grasp is dogs’ behaviour. On the far upper edge of the diagram above we see a linear progression from one…
I have put a new paper on SSRN which is the introduction to a new book called The Global Lawyer by Kate Galloway, Melissa Castan, and me. It is due out from LexisNexis in December. I would appreciate any feedback. The abstract reads: Using Kondratieff’s concept of economic waves (K waves) which span 60 years this paper examines the conjunction of the end of the fifth cycle and the start of the sixth. According to…
I was struck reading a blog post by Crispin Passmore (late of the SRA and LSB), Utah turns US reform party into a carnival. The Utah Bar and Supreme Court thoroughly investigated ways of increasing access to justice through the process of regulatory reforms. Their commission contained, among others, Gillian Hadfield and Margaret Hagan. One doesn’t normally associate the US legal profession with this kind of activity. Because law, lawyers, and the legal…
The Financial Times has published an article with this title (£). It’s a bit of a strange piece, and a number of the commenters agree. The gist of the piece is that unless big law firms change their ways of working–long hours, lack of promotion prospects, especially for women–they are doomed. Their hegemony is no longer assured because upstarts can overcome barriers to entry and poach white shoe work. The example given is Kirkland & Ellis…
Adrian McCullagh and I have put up a new paper on SSRN, titled, Blockchain’s Future: Can the Decentralised Blockchain Community Succeed in Creating Standards?  The abstract reads: Nakamoto proposed a new solution to transact value via the internet. And since 2009 blockchain technology has expanded and diversified. It has, however, proven to be inefficient in the way it achieves its outcomes, especially through the proof of work protocol. Other developers are promoting alternative methods…
I have put up a new paper on SSRN comparing Rake’s Cleaver Greene and Horace Rumpole of the Bailey. They offer contrasting views of professionalism, among other things. To make sense of this I use Mary Douglas’s ideas of Purity and Danger (or taboo).  The abstract reads:  My thesis is that lawyers regularly fall into two categories in various media— either saints or sinners; heroes or villains; conventional or maverick, representing the sacred and the…
Back in 1993 Andrew Caiger (now a barrister in South Africa) and I submitted a paper to the Modern Law Review, which was then under the editorship of the late Simon Roberts. The topic of the paper was lawyers and arbitration in construction disputes based on a series of interviews we had done. Simon was a wonderful editor helping me through the writing process with encouragement, never short, well, almost never. One of his requests…