Gary Wingens of Lowenstein Sandler and Frank Burch of DLA Piper listen to Dan DiPietro of Citibank forecasting a tough 2008 at the Army and Navy Club in Washington DC during The Edge International Managing Partners Strategy Summit

Last week, my Edge International partner Robert Millard and I hosted a very private, personal, invitation only, Strategy Summit for the Managing Partners of 10 law firms to explore:

•    key strategic issues facing law firms today

•    what law firms are doing to address these issues

•    what constitutes "best practice" in the law firm strategy process

The managing partners represented firms ranging from the largest in the world (DLA Piper) to a tiny, brand new firm with a highly innovative business model (Valorem Law Group.) It was a truly fascinating two days of strategic debate and solution building.

On the facilitation / faculty side, we were joined by guests Dan DiPietro of Citibank’s Law group and Michael Rynowecer, President of BTI Consulting Group of Boston. The venue was one of the most prestigious and historic venues in Washington DC: The Army and Navy Club, barely a block from the White House.

We are currently preparing to communicate learnings from the Summit in a special publication in February. Not everything will be covered. The summit included many candid exchanges between the managing partners, sometimes on quite sensitive issues. Arguably, this was by far the most valuable part of the summit. We have agreed that the Managing Partners themselves will be the final arbiters on what gets published and what does not.

Thank you very much to the managing partners that participated. In alphabetical order, they were:

Charles P. (Chuck) Adams, Jr., Managing Partner, Adams & Reese
Francis (Frank) Burch Jr., Joint Global Chief Executive Officer, DLA Piper
Nicolás Herrera, Managing Partner "Guyer & Regules" (Montevideo, Uruguay)
R. Steven Kestner, Executive Partner, Baker & Hostetler
Patrick Lamb, Chairman, Valorem Law Group
Don G. Lents, Chairman, Bryan Cave
Christopher Marston, Chief Executive Office, "Exemplar Law Partners"
Keith Vaughan, Managing Partner, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
Mark D. Wasserman, Managing Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan (substituted for by Executive Partner Tom Gick on Day 2)
Gary M. Wingens Managing Partner Nominee, Lowenstein Sandler

Each invitation was extended based upon personal peer recommendation.  The event was not publicized beforehand.  Many of those invited reluctantly declined because of conflicts with their internal firm events, often related to compensation given the time of year.

Given the very positive feedback from the participating Managing Partners, we will certainly host similar events in the future.  If you are interested in being invited and are willing to recommend other firm leaders with whom you would like to explore timely issues, please let me or my Edge partner Rob Millard know.