Strategies to ensure larger engagement practices are sustainable

“Swinging for the fences” is a baseball term used to describe the activities of big hitters whose aim is to hit the baseball out of the park and secure a home run.  Applied to law firms, there are partners who will spend huge amounts of time and energy chasing down and winning extremely large transactions that keep a large team busy for significant periods of time.  In contrast, and again using baseball terminology, “Steady Eddie” partners are those that have a sustainable and predictable flow of work from a body of clients who provide the firm with the confidence and certainty that budg...
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Learning From The Bulk Providers

In the competitive market for professional services, much can be learned from firms working at low margins, who have had to innovate and transform their models for service delivery in order to survive and prosper. This article – first published in 2004 and now significantly updated and revised – examines the lessons which all law firms can learn from the experience of the Bulk Providers. Read Article  Download Article
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Stretching Strategic Horizons

When considering their future plans, firms tend to start by asking where they are now and where they want to get to without necessarily asking three preliminary and rather deeper questions “who are we (our identity as a firm), why are we in business together (our career purpose) and what is the strength and depth both of the partners’ combined ambition and the shared long term view of the firm’s future (our vision)?”. In some firms, there are as many answers to such questions as there are partners in the firm. The purpose of this article (first published by Law Business Review in September ...
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Staying Afloat

Cataclysmic change in the legal landscape has really only just begun. But no matter what changes take place, there will always be those who profit and those who lose. This article – by Nick Jarrett-Kerr and Simon White and first published in Legal Marketing Magazine in August/September 2009 -attempts to identify those areas where there is an opportunity for law firms or legal marketing professionals to turn chaos to advantage and hopefully profit or success Read Article  Download Article
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Strategic Options And The Serving Men

In a world of rapidly developing competitive pressures, law firms should be looking at their strategic choices to survive and prosper. You may remember Kipling’s famous (but, by today’s standards, slightly politically incorrect) versicle: “I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who”. In this December 2009 newsletter, Nick uses the theme of Rudyard Kipling’s famous serving men to illustrate how to look at the strategic options which law firms ought to consider Read Article  Download Article
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Streamlining Work

Process management, case management and matter management are not new concepts for Law Firms, but increasing commoditisation has revived interest as firms prepare for increasing competition and deregulation. In this article, Nick suggests some steps which can be taken to streamline work effectively. Read Article  Download Article
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Alternative Business Structures – The Long Pregnancy

In this article (first published in Legal Information Management in June 2011, and reproduced in their format with their kind permission) Nick examines the long delayed implementation of the ABS structure which is likely to be finally implemented in October 2011. He reviews the plans of some early movers towards ABS and considers the possible benefits to law firms, to external investors and to clients. Read Article  Download Article
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International Alliances: How They Work, What They Deliver and Whether to Join

Sheltering under the global umbrella of a leading network or alliance has long been a favoured option for independent law firms. It gives them the best of all worlds by maintaining their own autonomies, their own brands and their distinctive identities at the same time as appearing to be part of something a lot bigger. There are a great many international networks and alliances from which to choose; Martindale Hubbell lists over 100 law firm alliances. Of these, there are 14 “large” networks with more than 100 law firm members and a further 13 that count between 50 and 100 members. Many of ...
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Enter the Swiss Verein

Enter The Swiss Verein: 21st-Century Global Platform or Just The Latest Fad? By Nick Jarrett-Kerr and Ed Wesemann After years of anticipation, true global consolidation on a significant scale is finally occurring in the legal industry. The driving influence appears to be the availability of a structural vehicle that helps firms deal with the legal and functional hurdles of international mergers. That vehicle is the Swiss Verein. The Swiss Verein (ver-INE) is not new; it was originally designed for the international affiliation of non-profit entities (the word “verein” means “associa...
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