Edge International

Editorial: New Routes to Strategic Growth

Gerry Riskin

When a firm has good and valid reasons to grow, or at least to extend its reach, the question changes from whether to grow to how to grow. The favoured traditional route — indeed, the only route for most firms — was a merger, a complicated and challenging move that could deliver major benefits but that also carried significant risks if the combination of two businesses failed to take.

Alternative Growth Structures

Chris Bull

We are in a period of genuinely unprecedented change in the legal market. Deep-seated structural changes have been ignited by a combination of economic downturn and deregulation, creating a constellation of different structures and models for providing legal services where once stood the near-universal model of a partnership of professionals.

International Alliances

Nick Jarrett-Kerr

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.

Innovative Associations

Bithika Anand

India’s prominence on the global stage continues to grow. Its economy is ranked third in the world on the basis of purchasing power parity and is growing at the fourth-fastest rate, while eight Indian companies occupy slots on the Fortune 500 list and most Fortune 500 companies have a presence here.

Enter The Swiss Verein

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.

Harvesting the Diamonds

Gerry Riskin

If you’ve read the previous article by Nick and Ed, then you already know that “verein” is the German word for “association.” That relatively casual and distant word reflects the fact that such firms typically involve separate profit centers, a financial state of affairs that does not always encourage cross-selling to the same degree that full-fledged “partnerships” do.

Come Together

Mike White

Thirty years ago, who would have thought that the market for legal services could support a 3,000- lawyer law firm while witnessing the evaporation of a 1,000-lawyer law firm virtually overnight?

Do You Want Swiss With That?

Doug Richardson and Pamela Woldow

The unabated growth, diversification, consolidation and geographical sprawl of law firms has reached the point where they might better be called “legal service delivery engines” — huge machines designed to capitalize on economies of scale, global footprints, cross-border referrals, myriad offices and specialized practice groups and client service teams.

Why Are You Growing?

Jordan Furlong

Mergers are tactics that should support a law firm’s strategy. But some firms fall into the trap of using mergers as a substitute for strategy. Before you grow your firm, make sure you know what you hope to achieve.

Fall 2012 – Edge International Review

Gerry Riskin