Archives: Law Firm Strategy

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Adaptability a Key to Lowering Project-Related Stress, Says Logistics Company CEO

If you have ever become flustered or agitated under pressure –  and who hasn’t? – you might want to read the profile of Franz-Joseph (FJ) Miller that was recently published on Inc. Miller is the founder and CEO of the time:matters Group, a “high-stakes logistics company” that prides itself on “perfect delivery, every time.” Kevin Dunn, who interviewed Miller for his podcast and the article, describes time:matters … Continue Reading

Microsoft’s Lawyers Told to Swap Billable Hours for Alternative Fee Strategies

According to an article on Quartz, Microsoft will require all of the law firms with which it works to move to a retainer or other billing approach for most legal matters, rather than billing by the hour, within two years. As the article points out, the billable hour may be traditional and standard procedure for … Continue Reading

A Fizzy New Niche for Law Practice?

A recent article in USA Today suggests that, in the same way that craft beers have transformed the face of beer production and sales in recent years, the manufacturing and retail landscape for soft drinks may be changing. Zlati Meyer writes, “[It  is] unique formulations that are at the heart of the growing segment of ‘craft soda,’ fizzy concoctions that … Continue Reading

Firm Shares Strategic Objectives with Clients and the Public

How many law firms have the courage to publish their strategy for their clients? At least one. The Drinker-Biddle Annual Report includes: Firm highlights, including deals closed and aggregate value since 2014 (225/$200B), new litigation matters (3700 plus), number of new partners (9), new associates (5) and many others; Strategic Plan, which sets out six objectives; … Continue Reading

Furlong Book a Must-Read for Law Firm Leaders

Jordan Furlong has been a professional colleague and close friend for many years. His passion for understanding the legal profession is unmatched. Perhaps that’s why he is in demand to speak to prestigious organizations and firms throughout the world. His new book, Law Is a Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm (available in print and Kindle versions) is … Continue Reading

The Successful Lawyer – Now Available on your Computer, Tablet or Smartphone

The Second Edition of The Successful Lawyer: Powerful Strategies for Transforming Your Practice is now available in both paperback and Kindle versions. Among the kudos the first edition of this book attracted was one from Tom Peters, the highly acclaimed writer on business-management practice and author of In Search of Excellence, who described The Successful Lawyer … Continue Reading

Is the billable hour turning off talented young lawyers?

In an article published in the Globe and Mail earlier this month, Allison Speigel, a commercial litigator with Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, argues convincingly that the billable hour may be at the root of the disaffection of so many recent law graduates with firm-related work. Among Speigel’s arguments against the profession’s most cherished and wide-spread billing system are ones we … Continue Reading

Alternative Legal Providers: A Warning to Law Firms

Friedrich Blase, Global Director in Legal Managed Services at Thomson Reuters, is warning traditional law firms – especially the larger ones – of the potential threat to their existence of alternative legal providers, including the growing range of legal-market ventures and forms of disruptive technology. Blase believes that alternative legal providers could present an “existential threat” to law firms as early as 2020. Blase says that large firms … Continue Reading

BTI Survey Shows Dramatic Growth for AFAs

A survey conducted by BTI Consulting Group in mid-2015 shows that alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) are experiencing a massive growth in popularity, particularly among larger clients. A report on the survey in BTI’s blog, The Mad Clientist, indicates that in 2015, AFAs accounted for $23.1 billion in outside counsel spending in the U.S. – up 8.2 billion over 2013. “AFAs … Continue Reading

Report warns that traditionally structured law firms could fall behind within a decade

A February 2016 “Insight Report” from Deloitte takes a close look at the future of the practice of law in the UK, and urges firms to make plans immediately to prepare for changes that are likely to upend the entire profession within a decade. “Indeed, by around 2020,” says the report, “we expect a tipping point for firms which will impact … Continue Reading

Deloitte Purchases Conduit Law

The Canadian law community woke up this week to the news that Conduit Law – a company that Canadian Lawyer describes as a “disrupter of traditional legal services on Bay Street – has been purchased by Deloitte, the professional services firm that offers audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to clients. Deloitte’s press release on Marketwired says, “The newly formed Deloitte Conduit … Continue Reading

Empathy Key to Success with Business Clients

In a recent article in Bloomberg BNA: Big Law Business, Susie Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Allstate Corporation, gets specific about how Allstate selects and retains outside law firms for the work its massive legal department can’t handle internally. Lees’s comments about how Allstate works with outside counsel makes interesting and valuable reading, but I believe the message we need to … Continue Reading

Making Difficult Decisions

An article by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Review will interest anyone faced with making a decision from among a range of equally appealing (or unappealing) options  – which, of course, happens to most of us all the time. Such deliberations can range from the relatively trivial, like deciding what to have for lunch, to the significant, such as determining how best to broach a difficult … Continue Reading

December, 2015 issue of Edge International Communiqué now available online

I am pleased to draw the attention of readers of this blog to the most recent issue of Edge International Communiqué (EIC). The issue features articles by two of my colleagues at Edge International, as well as one that I wrote. Nick Jarrett-Kerr offers advice on choosing effective law-firm leadership teams, and Mike White discusses some “closing” strategies that … Continue Reading

“Focus on Forever” and Other Rainmaking Skills

A survey conducted by BTI Consulting Group, as reported recently on its Mad Clientist blog, shows that rainmakers book five times more business than the average law firm partner. In answer to the obvious question, “How?”, BTI president Michael B. Rynowecer proposes possibilities that range across such areas as self-discipline, relationship management, communications skills, values and focus. Among other behaviours Rynowecer theorizes that rainmakers have developed to … Continue Reading

Securing New Litigation Work

Based on a projected thaw in the litigation market in 2016, the Sept. 30, 2015 installment of BTI’s blog, The Mad Clientest, features a useful and user-friendly infographic entitled “How to Capture the Money Clients Spend on Litigation.” BTI’s visual, which includes a link to the company’s recent report, BTI Litigation Outlook 2016, illustrates effective … Continue Reading

The “Start With Why” Approach

In a recent post, Patrick Lamb of the Valorem Law Group talks about one of the most-watched-ever TED Talk videos, Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” – nicknamed “Start With Why.” Lamb explains that in the video, “Sinek compellingly argues that why an organization exists is more important to its success than what it does … Continue Reading

So, you make the best saddle on the market….

When I am working with law firms that seem to be falling behind the times, and I want to remind those firms of the disruptive effect of new technologies on the legal landscape, I like to introduce the metaphor of the saddle maker. Prior to the mid-1800s, the leatherworkers who built saddles were among the most highly valued … Continue Reading

Change and the Law: Take Control of Your Own Future

In the most recent issue of Edge International Communique, I explored the issue of change in the legal profession, advising readers to take control of where their practices are going in a world where technology is altering not only how legal matters are carried out, but where and how they are accessed. My article begins: Today, … Continue Reading

New General Counsel at Client Companies a Wake-Up Call: Rynowecer

Michael B. Rynowecer, President and Founder of the BTI Consulting Group, warns law firms that they should consider the appointment of new general counsel at any of their major clients to be a “wake up call.” He supports this caution with some interesting statistics, which he posted recently on his Mad Clientist blog: within fifteen months of being hired, he says, more … Continue Reading

The Digital Future: Will Your Firm Survive?

I encourage readers of this blog to devote a few minutes of serious consideration to a new video from McKinsey & Company. In it, McKinsey Digital’s strategy leader Jay Scanlan reminds us of the scope and speed of change that digitization is having on the the way in which all business is conducted, and points … Continue Reading
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