The writing on the wall #5 management complexity

Firms are getting bigger. Mergers and International expansion may be the main culprits in recent years, bit add the economy slowly returns to growth, plenty of other law firms face the challenges associated with getting bigger. Some, like the competition for talent are frequently mentioned, but there is another that is less talked about andContinue reading “The writing on the wall #5 management complexity”

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”

Why law firms need a CLO (chief listening officer)

When I started my legal career in the mid/late 90s, no-one ever talked of the CEO or the CFO. There was a Managing Partner, probably a Senior Partner, and a Finance Director. While looking at job titles may seem simplistic, it actually throws up some interesting trends (and I’m not repeating my rant about puttingContinue reading “Why law firms need a CLO (chief listening officer)”

When good people leave

Talking to a legal recruitment consultant recently (and no, before you ask I’m not looking to return to lawyering!) he mentioned that while there are undoubtedly a high number of candidates on the market at the moment, they are not always what the recruiting firms are looking for. The sharper firms have opted to retainContinue reading “When good people leave”

Strategy without creativity?

Walking towards Holborn yesterday I looked up at a building to see the statement “strategy is nothing without creativity” plastered across the window. My instinct was to file it away in the “I agree” compartment of my head, and, as the song says, “walk on by”. The more I thought about it however, the lessContinue reading “Strategy without creativity?”

Do you want to win?

Last week I started reading what is probably the second most famous text on military strategy (after Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War“); Carl von Clausewitz “On War“. I’ll be honest – it’s not an easy read. My reason for reading was not that I was plotting any sort of immediate show of armed forceContinue reading “Do you want to win?”

Your training was useless. Discuss.

I asked an experienced law firm partner recently what percentage of his academic training he had used in his career as an outsourcing lawyer. The answer? Less than 10% Now I know that here in the UK, there has been debate for a number of years as to whether the vocational training given on theContinue reading “Your training was useless. Discuss.”

Starbucks, the prestigious offices of the modern law firm?

Reading in the legal press about the financial difficulties of UK law firm Halliwells, with many reports citing high property costs as the factor at the heart of their demise, I started thinking this morning about law firms’ property assets. My thinking was compounded by a meeting with Axiom, a pretty cool company, which hasContinue reading “Starbucks, the prestigious offices of the modern law firm?”

Lawyers’ love in? Working collaboratively with competitors

Whether it’s the ongoing media focus on our new coalition government, or just the emergence of some spring sunshine, I’ve been thinking about happy togetherness this week. One of the things that used to warm my heart most in-house was when my key law firms used to work together collaboratively and effectively on projects for the company.Continue reading “Lawyers’ love in? Working collaboratively with competitors”

Money, money, money; but what would you spend it on?

Entirely brushing aside any discussion about the consumerism that is rampant in our society, and indeed the inability of material goods to bring lasting happiness, I was recently confronted by the question “what would you like for your birthday?”. Effectively asking me how I would like to invest a small amount of capital to produce aContinue reading “Money, money, money; but what would you spend it on?”