Archives: Law Firm Strategy

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The Big Four and The Legal Industry: Who Should Be Afraid?

A recent instalment of the podcast series LegalSpeak addresses the question of whether or not recent forays into the legal arena by the accounting industry’s Big Four actually comprise a significant threat to U.S. law firms. Nicholas Bruch, principal analyst at ALM Legal Intelligence, who has been looking into this issue deeply for at least two … Continue Reading

Ask Gerry Riskin: Should Corporate and Other Transactional Groups Spin Work off to Litigation Teams?

Client Question* While it seems to be a commonly held assumption that corporate and other transactional groups in firms spin work off to litigation teams (and that this is and should be the primary source of clients for litigators/trial attorneys), we aren’t finding any literature or research that supports this premise. Our numbers indicate the … Continue Reading

Are Your Clients Requesting Lawyers Based on Their Online Bios?

When lawyers first started creating bios of themselves for use in firm promotion, clients generally used them to choose a firm, or to check out who they’d be working with after the firm had made the assignment. However, Michael Rynowecer at The Mad Clientist warns that these days, clients are using attorney bios to assess … Continue Reading

EY, Proving Itself to Be a Leading Disruptor of Legal Services, Acquires and Expands Riverview Law Globally

Following the acquisition of Riverview Law by EY, a new entity named EY Riverview will expand the accountancy firm’s legal-services reach into the global marketplace. Riverview Law’s growth could lead to an increase in staff from its current 120 to as many as 3,000, to be located at offices around the world. In case you … Continue Reading

How Will US Law Firms Compete with International Firms Offering Equity Outside the Legal Profession?

Two recent, related articles announce the details of a $21m investment by growth equity investor Highland Europe in INCOPRO, a leading machine-learning brand and intellectual property protection business that was co-founded by the UK law firm Wiggin. INCOPRO will use the investment for “the development of its Talisman online brand protection technology to help businesses … Continue Reading

A Niche Law Firm Built on Blockchain

“Blockchain technology [has] captured the imaginations of startups, financial institutions and government agencies. Angela Angelovska-Wilson and Lewis Cohen are taking a gamble that the law is next.” So begins an article by Jason Tashea entitled “New firm looks to embrace blockchain technology ethos” that was published recently on the ABA Journal website. Tashea goes on to explain … Continue Reading

The Legal Profession Faces an Epidemic (And It’s not Bird Flu)

The Mad Clientist – the blog of the BTI Consulting Group – has diagnosed a growing epidemic among law firms: complacency. “Wishes do come true,” they write. “Legal spending is up. The existential crisis is over. And urgency is retreating as success is just a little easier to come by.” The result, they say, is … Continue Reading

Keeping “Innovation” Meaningful

Early this week, law.com published a list of seven firms that its editors believe have “moved the needle on innovation in 2017.” The leading-edge advances highlighted in the article make for interesting reading, and I encourage you to check them out. They include: Bryan Cave’s encouragement of associates to propose new technology applications that could benefit law firm … Continue Reading

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
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