The writing on the wall #7 – location, location, location

Let’s for a moment put aside the discussion as to whether an investment by a law firm into premium real estate makes sense. Let’s assume that clients don’t object to funding acres of marble and an atrium full of lush vegetation. This question is about where your firm’s offices are, not what they are. TheContinue reading “The writing on the wall #7 – location, location, location”

The writing on the wall #4 – the commodity game

  It seems that whatever the practice area, lawyers talk in hushed tones about their work becoming a commodity. Corporate law, employment law, technology law are among the areas where there is much gnashing of teeth and squeezing of margins. Much of the debate focuses on whether to do the commoditized elements and if soContinue reading “The writing on the wall #4 – the commodity game”

The writing’s on the wall #3 – resistance to change

There is no shortage of commentary about the need for law firms to change in what is the most significant transition in the profession in a lifetime. Theories from Darwin to Kotter are cited yet firms still struggle with the day to day reality of change. Partners speak of their frustration that things don’t moveContinue reading “The writing’s on the wall #3 – resistance to change”

The writing’s on the wall #2 – scale back your offices?

Given property is often the second biggest cost of a law firm behind head count, I wonder what the impact would be of scaling back prestigious offices and reinvesting some of the capital in technology that would make a real difference for clients.  

Excuse me, I think your pricing is broken

I was pleased to read the post on 3 geeks about value billing as this is definitely a topic that needs exploring further, not least because I’m astonished by the number of law firm partners who continually tell me that it’s for clients to find a pricing model that works for the firm’s services. The commonContinue reading “Excuse me, I think your pricing is broken”

The legal market place – carnage or opportunity?

When you look at the legal marketplace, what do you see? With the implementation of the far reaching Legal Services Act finally happening in the UK (albeit with some fairly significant delays in related regulation), it seems the right time to step back and assess the state of the market. Talking to people in the profession about this,Continue reading “The legal market place – carnage or opportunity?”

What’s the end game?

I was with a group of law firm partners from different City firms this week, listening to them discuss a case study about super-profitable US law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Aside from their phenomenally successful business model and profitability (with the Amlaw100 reporting profit per partner of over $4m), one of the pointsContinue reading “What’s the end game?”

The Joy Of Secs (secondments)

I’ve been hanging out with a lot of in-house counsel recently, and one thing’s clear. They love their secondees. Really love them. Whether it’s a GC who is relying on a specialist skill set that he or she can’t quite find the budget to recruit, a mid-level corporate counsel who is working with a juniorContinue reading “The Joy Of Secs (secondments)”

Why sorry is the hardest word

I had a very interesting conversation with a colleague yesterday around a workshop he was facilitating for a fairly sizeable group of lawyers. As part of the discussion he asked the question “how many of you have ever been the subject of a client complaint”. Our subsequent discussion centred around the fact that the solitaryContinue reading “Why sorry is the hardest word”

Lawyers – Just. Do. Something.

It seems like there was some sort of psychic alignment in the UK legal blogging community last week. As the news came rolling in on changes facing the UK market (Neil Rose’s site Legal Futures is often a good place to start), the Entrepreneur Lawyer   Chrissie Lightfoot wrote a great post about the disruption and fearContinue reading “Lawyers – Just. Do. Something.”