Smarter business development?

One of my former commercial colleagues from corporate life was telling me the other day about an analysis they did of their business development spend. A huge proportion of their annual budget went into the team that responded to RFPs (requests for proposals) and yet their win rate for these opportunities was actually very low.Continue reading “Smarter business development?”

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.”

Making better decisions

Good management information is at the heart of the outsourcing industry. Having worked directly in this field, both as a lawyer and a commercial animal, for six years, I have seen plenty of spurious arguments and assumptions but to the sword by solid data. Where margins are slim, and operational efficiency is a must, havingContinue reading “Making better decisions”

Purple law firms

Not green law firms (sustainability is for another post), but purple law firms. The concept at the heart of Seth Godin’s excellent book “Purple Cow” is about being remarkable. I think that’s a great word, and today’s post is designed to make you think about how your firm, team or law department can be remarkable.Continue reading “Purple law firms”

Time to call for Superlawyer?

Having a cup of tea recently with one of my former colleagues, I was struck by the genuine excitement he still feels for the rich challenge offered by his work, even after 20 years in the saddle. Talking about what the future holds, it was clear that the profession offers a long-term and stimulating pathContinue reading “Time to call for Superlawyer?”

A law firm’s immune system

In his book “Your Next Move” (which is excellent by the way) Michael Watkins introduces the concept of the corporate immune system. The idea is that organisations develop unspoken systems to protect their culture when threatened by a “foreign body” inside them. This is examined in the context of a new person joining the company,Continue reading “A law firm’s immune system”

Can your lawyer read?

Dickensian lawyers were inseparable from their books. Noses always pressed into some dusty, leather-bound tome, everyone knew lawyers loved to read. Subsequent TV and film portrayals of lawyers  reinforced this image, with the hot-shot  New York lawyer seen pouring over books for hours, before leaping up (Archimedes style) with the fact or theory that would win theContinue reading “Can your lawyer read?”

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”

Inhouse firefighters

Speaking at an Intellect event this week (don’t worry, the group is a trade body for the UK technology sector, not some type of meeting of great minds!) much of my content touched on the role in-house legal teams play, and it occurred to me that with much of my focus on law firms, IContinue reading “Inhouse firefighters”

When negotiations turn nasty

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the current negotiations between the political parties striving to govern my country. Talk of ideological differences and deal breakers fill the air, triggering flashbacks of negotiations I supported or lead as a lawyer. One place where the similarity ends, is the lack of escalation if aContinue reading “When negotiations turn nasty”