Risk Insurance for Laterals
Suppose your firm’s longtime insurance advisor came to you and said: “You have a substantial investment that we know will have a one-in-four failure rate over three years and about one-in-two failure rate over five years.* Would you like to insure against the risk of that happening?” We have all kinds of insurance for our […]
Why Operational Reviews in Law Firms Are a Must
Written on the basis of my two decades of work as a manager and consultant with international and local law firms across APAC and the Middle East, this article provides insights into operational reviews (ORs) – explaining what they are, and why all firms should consider embarking on them periodically. What Is an Operational Review? […]
Managing and Growing a Law Firm, Part 3
In this final article in the series of three, I highlight the legal scene in Asia, the changes to the legal industry, and the different resources available to law firms for expansion. I also take a look to the future, and share key leadership qualities. In my first article, I shared my thoughts about managing and […]
The Erosion of the Billable Hour, or the “Dings”
All law firms determine and dictate the parameters of revenue: annual targets for billable hours and corresponding billing rate. Then come the “dings” or revenue adjustments. First ding: The number of recorded client hours is lower than target hours. Second ding: Recorded hours are shaved by the partners before they make it to the client. […]
Retirement Benefits – Does your Firm Provide a Nest Egg?
For many years, a generation of law firm partners has become accustomed to funding their own retirements through personal savings and schemes. They know that their naked-in-naked-out style of partnership means they will never be able to extract value from their years of effort. However, partners in highly profitable first-generation law firms – those they […]
Business Development Skills and the Billable Hour
I recently reviewed a small firm’s Associate Guidebook. In describing the firm’s expectations of associates, two-thirds of the text was taken up with how to attain annual billable hours (2000). The remaining one-third addressed billing and timekeeping. Not a word was said about business development or career. This got me pondering this question: What if […]
Sharing Your Profitability Numbers: All for One?
Because of client pressure on fees, law firms are scrutinizing their profitability numbers more than ever. If the clients are right, firms are looking for new efficiencies, better project management and innovative staffing. But we see that law firm leaders are looking at profitability as “business lines” as well. Is this area of practice a […]
The Tall Poppy Syndrome and Origination Credit
Law firms talk a good game about sophisticated management but often, just when a firm reaches the verge of running like a business, its culture gets in the way. Case in point is business origination: should it be measured, how should it be measured and what do we do with the data? Almost 25% of […]
The “Cheap Grace” of Compensation Systems
I’m always impressed with how much time many of my clients spend wrestling with their compensation systems. The animating seduction of compensation typically doesn’t bring with it a law-firm appetite for changing what is already in place, but it does tend to make up a lot of firm mindshare. When you think about it, though, […]
Embracing the Product Imperative
Why and how law firms can and should consider the “product” approach.