The in-house headcount rise is about in-house lawyers coming out of the compliance cupboard and being seen as valued members of the frontline team contributing to the growth of the business. Gone are the days of in-house being seen as a repository for lawyers who cannot cut it in the law firm world. Now, the situation is reversed, with only the best, most commercially minded and astute lawyers making it in-house; and the repressed, narrow-minded lawyers being stuck in repetitive slog in the back rooms of law firms, doing endless due diligence and worrying about how they are going to fix their timesheets this week.

Christopher Digby-Bell, general counsel, London W1