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Uriel

2015 Mergermarket Trend Reports (OMG FIRM RANKINGS OMG)

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Seriously please stop PMing me about your in-firms with Sister firms ("I have four in-firms, two with Seven Sister firms").  Just stop it.  Tell me what firms they are, by all means, call them Bay Street firms, call them downtown firms, whatever you like, just do me the courtesy of skipping the fingernails on the blackboard.  For the sake of my sanity.  If you think I'm talking about you, don't take it personally because you're one among roughly 15.

 

I've probably gone off 50 times about how that term was never based on anything resembling reality and is even less so now, so I won't bore you by going through it again.  

 

If you're all going to insist on having autonomic physical reactions to firm rankings at least use something current, I guess.

 

2015's Mergermarket Trend Reports are out, and the top firms (excluding predominantly non-Canadian firms) are as follows.  These tables only measure deal value and volume, which is a lousy indicator of how good a firm is with regard to anything but its M&A practice and only captures a brief temporal snapshot of the marketplace, but that's precisely what underpinned the "Seven Sisters" concept in the one year the term was coined, so I guess that's the metric we're using:

 

BY DEAL VALUE

 

1. Osler

2. Norton Rose

3. Torys

4. McCarthys

5. Dentons 

6. Stikes

7. Blakes

 

BY DEAL VOLUME

 

1. Stikes

2. Osler

3. McCarthys

4. Blakes

5. BLG 

6. Torys

7. Norton Rose

8. Gowlings

9. Davies

10. Bennett Jones

11. Faskens

12. Goodmans

13. Cassels Brock

 

The firms traditionally identified as "Sister" firms are great firms among other great firms.  You could maybe make a good case that there are four "elite" downtown firms (McT, Blakes, Osler, Stikes) --- although as you can see their deal value and volume don't actually put them on a quantifiably higher tier; they're just typically at or near the top of a tight race --- but there's no justification for separating seven and there never has been.  

 

I need more coffee.

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Seriously please stop PMing me about your in-firms with Sister firms ("I have four in-firms, two with Seven Sister firms").  Just stop it.  Tell me what firms they are, by all means, call them Bay Street firms, call them downtown firms, whatever you like, just do me the courtesy of skipping the fingernails on the blackboard.  For the sake of my sanity.  If you think I'm talking about you, don't take it personally because you're one among roughly 15.

 

I've probably gone off 50 times about how that term was never based on anything resembling reality and is even less so now, so I won't bore you by going through it again.  

 

If you're all going to insist on having autonomic physical reactions to firm rankings at least use something current, I guess.

 

2015's Mergermarket Trend Reports are out, and the top firms (excluding predominantly non-Canadian firms) are as follows.  These tables only measure deal value and volume, which is a lousy indicator of how good a firm is with regard to anything but its M&A practice and only captures a brief temporal snapshot of the marketplace, but that's precisely what underpinned the "Seven Sisters" concept in the one year the term was coined, so I guess that's the metric we're using:

 

BY DEAL VALUE

 

1. Osler

2. Norton Rose

3. Torys

4. McCarthys

5. Dentons 

6. Stikes

7. Blakes

 

BY DEAL VOLUME

 

1. Stikes

2. Osler

3. McCarthys

4. Blakes

5. BLG 

6. Torys

7. Norton Rose

8. Gowlings

9. Davies

10. Bennett Jones

11. Faskens

12. Goodmans

13. Cassels Brock

 

The firms traditionally identified as "Sister" firms are great firms among other great firms.  You could probably make a good case that there are four "elite" downtown firms (McT, Blakes, Osler, Stikes), but there's no justification for separating seven and there never has been.  

 

I need more coffee.

 

I see... but we're totally good to talk about the Tremendous Thirteen, right?

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I'm-a tell my joke again.

 

What did the partner at Blakes say to the partner at BLG?

 

I don't know, it's hard to intercept yacht-to-yacht communications.

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I see... but we're totally good to talk about the Tremendous Thirteen, right?

 

If we absolutely have to:

 

1) Talk about firm rankings at all;

2) Focus on M&A;

3) Ignore the quality of the legal work that goes into those deals;

4) Take a snapshot of a single year in an unpredictable market that can take a huge spike from a single massive merger or an unreasonably large number of offices; 

5) Ignore the very significant foreign players making up about half of those league tables by themselves;

6) Ignore the foreign mergers that have effectively rendered rankings stalwarts like Gowlings and Norton Rose "foreign players"; and

7) Base our value judgments entirely on what's on the list and disregarding anything below an arbitrary cut-off at #15

 

then yeah, the Tremendous Thirteen are obviously the interviews to get.

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I'm-a tell my joke again.

 

What did the partner at Blakes say to the partner at BLG?

 

I don't know, it's hard to intercept yacht-to-yacht communications.

 

This is a joke about how it doesn't matter where you go because you'll be paid based on your own book of business and you'll get unbelievably, ridiculously rich at any of these firms.

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... And this post makes me realize I've already forgotten what Dentons and Norton Rose used to be called. That didn't take as long as I thought.

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Fraser Milner Casgrain and Ogilvy Renault.

 

Oop, there goes my knee again.  Storm's a-comin'.  You younguns get the cat in, hear?

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... And this post makes me realize I've already forgotten what Dentons and Norton Rose used to be called. That didn't take as long as I thought.

 

I'm sorry, were you referring to 大成 Dentons?

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I think some one needs a large brandy.

 

...

 

I am only here to see how long it takes before some one seriously asks why Morgans is not in the list. This thread is a natural extension of that origin story.

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If we absolutely have to:

 

.... (something or other, wasn't important) ...

 

then yeah, the Tremendous Thirteen are obviously the interviews to get.

 

Fantastic. You heard it from Uriel first, everyone should be going for the Tremendous Thirteen. 

 

Wow, that was easier than I thought. Thanks Uriel!

Edited by Pyke
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Seriously please stop PMing me about your in-firms with Sister firms ("I have four in-firms, two with Seven Sister firms").  Just stop it.  Tell me what firms they are, by all means, call them Bay Street firms, call them downtown firms, whatever you like, just do me the courtesy of skipping the fingernails on the blackboard.  For the sake of my sanity.  If you think I'm talking about you, don't take it personally because you're one among roughly 15.

 

I've probably gone off 50 times about how that term was never based on anything resembling reality and is even less so now, so I won't bore you by going through it again.  

 

If you're all going to insist on having autonomic physical reactions to firm rankings at least use something current, I guess.

 

2015's Mergermarket Trend Reports are out, and the top firms (excluding predominantly non-Canadian firms) are as follows.  These tables only measure deal value and volume, which is a lousy indicator of how good a firm is with regard to anything but its M&A practice and only captures a brief temporal snapshot of the marketplace, but that's precisely what underpinned the "Seven Sisters" concept in the one year the term was coined, so I guess that's the metric we're using:

 

BY DEAL VALUE

 

1. Osler

2. Norton Rose

3. Torys

4. McCarthys

5. Dentons 

6. Stikes

7. Blakes

 

BY DEAL VOLUME

 

1. Stikes

2. Osler

3. McCarthys

4. Blakes

5. BLG 

6. Torys

7. Norton Rose

8. Gowlings

9. Davies

10. Bennett Jones

11. Faskens

12. Goodmans

13. Cassels Brock

 

The firms traditionally identified as "Sister" firms are great firms among other great firms.  You could maybe make a good case that there are four "elite" downtown firms (McT, Blakes, Osler, Stikes) --- although as you can see their deal value and volume don't actually put them on a quantifiably higher tier; they're just typically at or near the top of a tight race --- but there's no justification for separating seven and there never has been.  

 

I need more coffee.

 

Agreed.  And, for a more recent report, here are the results for Mergermarket's Q1 2016 report:

 

BY DEAL VOLUME

 

1 Stikeman Elliott

2 Blake, Cassels & Graydon

3 Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt

4 McCarthy Tetrault

5 Torys

6 Dentons

7 Miller Thomson

 

All that these tables show is that at any given time, firms move in and out of the "Top 7" spots - here we see Miller Thomson move into the top 7 and Norton Rose moving out into 10th spot as compared to 2015.  At the end of the day, choosing firms based on perceived rankings (given how much they move around from quarter to quarter) as opposed to how much you actually like the culture and the work a firm does would be short-sighted. 

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I just noticed this:

 

Blake, Cassels, & Gradon

 

Cassels Brock.

 

Both are old firms. Anyone know if the Cassels were related?

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I just noticed this:

 

Blake, Cassels, & Gradon

 

Cassels Brock.

 

Both are old firms. Anyone know if the Cassels were related?

 

I went searching for that answer once and couldn't find anything; I bet some senior partner at one of these firms knows.

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I just noticed this:

 

Blake, Cassels, & Gradon

 

Cassels Brock.

 

Both are old firms. Anyone know if the Cassels were related?

Don't be silly, Cassels is Mr. Brock's first name, and Blake's last name. I'm more curious about this mysterious one-named Graydon fellow. Are they like a Batman or a Madonna or both?

Edited by FineCanadianFXs
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Agreed.  And, for a more recent report, here are the results for Mergermarket's Q1 2016 report:

 

BY DEAL VOLUME

 

1 Stikeman Elliott

2 Blake, Cassels & Graydon

3 Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt

4 McCarthy Tetrault

5 Torys

6 Dentons

7 Miller Thomson

 

All that these tables show is that at any given time, firms move in and out of the "Top 7" spots - here we see Miller Thomson move into the top 7 and Norton Rose moving out into 10th spot as compared to 2015.  At the end of the day, choosing firms based on perceived rankings (given how much they move around from quarter to quarter) as opposed to how much you actually like the culture and the work a firm does would be short-sighted. 

 

OhmerGAWD - Blakes and McCarthy's both dropped.  They are in a death spiral.  On a basically meaningless list they have gone down.  Oh won't someone think of the children - the very pampered, limo riding children!!!!!

 

Wouldn't want to work at either of those places - the grim reaper will be haunting the halls (yay - Halloween reference)

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I just noticed this:

 

Blake, Cassels, & Gradon

 

Cassels Brock.

 

Both are old firms. Anyone know if the Cassels were related?

There are a lot of names that pop up often in the legal field - Cassels, Dinsdale, Osler etc. No clue if these individuals are related to the namesakes of the larger firms or if the larger firms which share names have familial ties but it certainly appears that way. 

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There are a lot of names that pop up often in the legal field - Cassels, Dinsdale, Osler etc. No clue if these individuals are related to the namesakes of the larger firms or if the larger firms which share names have familial ties but it certainly appears that way. 

 

You know what they say, better to keep it in the family.

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Uriel is just jealous he isn't at a 7 Sister and has to hear about it at poker and cigar night come recruitment time.

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I think some one needs a large brandy.

 

I appreciate that you feel a large brandy had nothing to do with my post.

 

I just noticed this:

 

Blake, Cassels, & Gradon

 

Cassels Brock.

 

Both are old firms. Anyone know if the Cassels were related?

 

 

There are a lot of names that pop up often in the legal field - Cassels, Dinsdale, Osler etc. No clue if these individuals are related to the namesakes of the larger firms or if the larger firms which share names have familial ties but it certainly appears that way. 

 

Anyone with a bit of free time can go find out: http://ao.minisisinc.com/scripts/mwimain.dll/144/ARCH_LISTINGS/LISTINGS_DET_REP/REF_FILE%20C%2081-2-0-8?SESSIONSEARCH

 

Uriel is just jealous he isn't at a 7 Sister and has to hear about it at poker and cigar night come recruitment time.

 

I get that a lot.  I know you're joking, but just to address it briefly: this 'prestige' thing doesn't last too much beyond the first day of practice, when you realize there are dopes everywhere and geniuses in sole practice.  When you have buddies at every firm downtown and you all have the same complaints and the same basic practice, and you keep going to the same events and seeing each other on the same cases it's hard to think, wow.  She's got such a great job.  WIsh I was her.  We all know what a crapshoot OCIs can be.  I'm at a pretty good firm that jumps in and out of the top 5 on these tables and I don't have any misapprehensions that I'm smarter or more capable than someone at a big firm that doesn't tend to clear the top 10.  We're still all kind of in the same boat.  Except for Gowlings, Gowlings is terrible.*

 

Put another way, you don't go, "hoo boy" when you see Davies come on the record for the other side.  That guy could be anybody, who cares.  You do go, "hoo boy" when you look at the signature line and see Kent Thompson is that 'anybody'.  

 

As with so many things, it's departments and individuals that confer respectability and 'prestige' --- not generally the firm itself.  I often hear complaints about how Associate X at Sister Y is always having his contract drafts corrected by opposing counsel at smaller firms, or (more often) run into Litigation Partner Z, who is being completely unreasonable and unbusinesslike and it's hard to believe he's a partner at Sister Q.  And often, you run into someone at a mid-sized firm two or three times and they kick your ass around the block and you wonder why they haven't been snapped up by a bigger shop.  My day-to-day work experience undermines the belief that there are places to work that lend imprimaturs of quality across the board.

 

 

*I shouldn't have to write that I'm kidding, but it's October and I know my audience

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