I’m a lawyer, speaker, legal industry analyst, and consultant based in Ottawa, Canada. I specialize in delivering dynamic and thought-provoking presentations to law firms and legal organizations at a time of unprecedented marketplace change, providing strategic advice and guidance for adapting to a new legal environment.

After graduating from Queen’s University Faculty of Law in 1993, I began my legal career as an articling student at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto. I then went on to serve as an award-winning editor of three top Canadian legal periodicals: the Canadian Bar Association’s National magazine, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s CCCA Magazine, and The Lawyers Weekly newspaper.

I’m a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, I served as editor of its Innovaction e-zine on innovation in law practice, and I’m Past Chair of the College’s InnovAction Awards, which recognize and reward creativity and innovation in legal services delivery. I serve as co-chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute of Law Practice, Technology and Innovation at Suffolk University Law School and I teach a sessional course to the school’s upper-year students.

I’m the author of Evolutionary Road: A Strategic Guide to Your Law Firm’s Future (published by Attorney At Work) and co-author (with Steve Matthews) of Content Marketing and Publishing Strategies for Law Firms  (published by The Ark Group). In 2012, I was named one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers by Canadian Lawyer magazine.

Today, we’re facing extraordinary changes in how legal services are created, priced and delivered throughout the world. My job is to monitor and analyze these changes, study their impact on the legal marketplace, and advise my clients on how they can respond to these changes and adapt successfully to this new environment.

I deliver presentations to and facilitate discussions among my clients, ranging from panel appearances all the way to full-blown keynotes and plenaries. I also provide my clients with strategic counsel and guidance in identifying and implementing their responses to the new market. This is what my clients receive:

  • A deeper appreciation of the unprecedented market forces at work in the legal sphere.
  • A clear vision of how and where the legal marketplace will evolve in the future.
  • A customized portrait of the impact of these changes on their firm or practice group.
  • A practical grasp of ways in which they can respond to and profit from this new era.
  • Advice on and solutions for implementing sustainable change in their enterprises.

I’ve been honoured to address dozens of audiences (including law firms, state bars, law societies, bar executives, law schools, judges, law firm marketers, law firm administrators, and many others) throughout the United States and Canada. These are some of the subjects upon which I have spoken or been consulted:

  • Access to Justice
  • Business Development
  • Client Relations
  • Continuing Education
  • Innovation
  • Law Firm Operations
  • Law Firm Publishing
  • Lawyer Regulation
  • Marketing
  • Pricing
  • Recruitment
  • Social Media
  • Technology
  • Workflow

I’m sometimes referred to as a “futurist.” But I prefer to be known as a present-day “analyst,” someone who helps people and organizations understand what’s happening to today’s changing legal market environment and how they can adapt to prepare for tomorrow’s.

Law Firms

  • I have addressed AmLaw 100 firms on the subject of legal market change, innovation and marketplace dominance.
  • I have advised smaller and midsize firms on core strategy issues and facilitated productive brainstorming sessions for adaptation to new market conditions.
  • I have addressed managing partners on the subject of new and better ways of delivering legal services.

Legal Organizations

  • I have assisted regional and national bar associations with projects designed to prepare their members for the future practice of law.
  • I have advised law schools regarding strategies for responding to rapid shifts in their environment through curricular and faculty changes.
  • I have spoken with legal publishers about engineering new ways of engaging with their legal clients.

Legal C-Suite

  • I have addressed Chief Marketing Officers about the evolving functionality of marketing and business development and adapting thereto.
  • I have addressed law firm CEOs and Administrators about law firm workflow, operations, pricing, talent strategies, and innovation.
  • I have addressed CLE Directors about the impact of rising competition and technological advances and recommended new business strategies.

I have written literally hundreds of articles and blog posts dealing with almost every aspect of law practice, law firm management, and legal marketplace dynamics. Most of these articles can be found at my blog, Law21, as well as in other periodicals based in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Here are some of the articles I have written exclusively for Edge International:

What’s important

  • I’m married, with a daughter and a son, and I’m Roman Catholic.

Everything else

  • I’m originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland. If you don’t know where that is, it’s here. if you’ve never been there, you should go.
  • I have an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. I also have a Doctor Who-themed coffee mug. One of these proves useful on a daily basis.
  • I enjoyed law school immensely. If not for the small matter of utterly failing to prepare me for law practice, I’d rate it a fine experience.
  • I practised law just long enough to recognize that I could provide more value outside the practising bar than inside it.
  • I’ve been employed in the private sector, in the public sector, and in the non-profit sector. I now work in the at-home sector, and I’m not going back.
  • I read superhero comics as a kid. I played Dungeons & Dragons as a teenager. I consume science fiction stories in print and on screen today. I’m a nerd, and I’m at peace with that.
  • I used to be an all-season sports fan. Today I’m only a cautious supporter of the Toronto Blue Jays. I also have a cat. That’s unrelated, but it needs to go somewhere.
  • I enjoy playing games. (I don’t mean that in the euphemistic sense.) I’m very good at Scattergories and Settlers of Catan. My enthusiasm for chess and poker outstrips my skill at them.
  • Many people list travel, hiking, and outdoor activities as among their favourite pastimes. Good for them.
  • More than 7.000 tweets have, if nothing else, helped me perfect the art of the 140-character observation.