The story of corporate law from 1978 until 2024

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By Legal Cheek on


How big law firms evolved into what they are today

80s computer, 90s popstar, 00s Lehman Bros and 10s politics

Legal Cheek’s four-part podcast series about the recent history of corporate law, beginning in 1978 and continuing up to the present day, is now complete, with the final episode going live this week.

The series features a quartet of hour-long chats between legendary former Allen & Overy dealmaker Alan Paul and Legal Cheek founder and managing director Alex Aldridge — in which Alex asks Alan to recall his career and reflect on how corporate law has changed.

It’s a must-listen for aspiring commercial lawyers and anyone interested to understand the world of City law better.

Listen to the series below on Spotify

This series is also available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.



Still find it amazing that in the 90s it was – come in, look at morning post, maybe answer the phone, mark up a document by hand in red ink, go to lunch (long), look at afternoon post, go home.

I’ve spoken to quite a few partners who openly admit they wouldn’t make it past the front door if they applied today, standard to get a training contract is so much higher.


Although I was top of you year at university etc etc and applied to 139 firms in 1981/82 (3m out of work, worst for 50 years) before getting my TC after 25 TC / articles interviews in London so for some of us it was not very easy to get in at all. I may of course have been the worst interviewee in history!

Bar Civilisation Board

Is that you Lydia/English Rose?

You what mate

A fellow FT reader! How did you end up in this cesspit?

Uk law Reddit enjoyer

It definitely is English Rose. How do I know? Simple, she doesn’t hesitate to let everyone know about the 139 firms she applied to. “My lawyer children” coming in 3,2,1…..

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