Tag Archives: Australasian legal services consulting

Edge International Welcomes Yarman J. Vachha

Yarman J. Vachha

On behalf of all the principals of Edge International, I am delighted to welcome Yarman J. Vachha to our firm. Based in Singapore, Yarman extends Edge International’s legal-services consulting reach in Asia across Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

Yarman Vachha brings Edge International the benefit of his 38-year professional accounting and management career, including senior leadership and executive roles with global law firms Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie. Yarman has a strong record of success in implementing key financial, operational and structural changes to make law firms more efficient, profitable and collaborative.

Working as Regional Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Asia Pacific, at Baker McKenzie (2010-2017), Yarman’s achievements included the full integration of two of the firm’s major business units (Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, Vietnam and Korea with Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia), creating one business unit with revenues of US$400m, and 2,000 staff representing 55% of the Asia-Pacific business.

At Allen & Overy, during his tenure as Director and Chief Operating Officer, Asia and Middle East (1999-2010), he managed the entire finance, administration, human resources, marketing and IT functions across Asia, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He was the only non-lawyer on the Asian management board, and one of only five directors managing the global support functions – the only director outside London.

Yarman J. Vachha also developed strong mentoring and people-management skills in his role as Hong Kong cricket captain (1986 – 1988), both as manager and national selector, and represented Hong Kong internationally (1974 – 1995).

Edge International Welcomes Shirley Anne Fortina


Shirley Anne Fortina

Edge International is very pleased to welcome Shirley Anne Fortina as our newest principal. Based in Perth, Western Australia, Shirley Anne joins our other Australasian principals – Sean Larkan, Neil Oakes and Sam Coupland – to further extend Edge International’s legal-services consulting reach in the southern hemisphere.

Shirley Anne Fortina began her professional career in South Africa, where she was born and educated. Fourteen years ago, after working for several years in the UK, she and her husband moved to Western Australia. Director of the POD Consultancy PTY Ltd., Shirley Anne’s workshops, presentations, programs and coaching focus on a wide range of areas including strategic and business-development planning and implementation, women in leadership, managing client relationships and relationship building, team performance and fostering business acumen. She has worked with engineering and accounting professionals as well as individual lawyers and law firms. Shirley Anne is the author of a report entitled ‘Women in Business’ and co-author of ‘Strategic Internal Communications: Boosting corporate culture, productivity and profitability,’ both of which were edited and published by The ARK Group (Australia and UK).

“Shirley Anne’s diversity of experience, not only professionally but also geographically, enriches her ability to work with our law-firm clients,” said Edge International co-founder Gerry Riskin. “We are very happy that she has joined our group.  I am confident that she will enhance Edge International in many meaningful and distinctive ways.”

Edge International Welcomes Sam Coupland and Neil Oakes

Left to right Sam Coupland, Neil Oakes and Sean Larkan at the 2016 Edge Global Meeting, Hawaii

Left to right: Sam Coupland, Neil Oakes and Sean Larkan at the 2016 Edge Global Meeting, Hawaii

Edge International has extended its market-leading reach in Australasian legal-services consulting with the appointment as principals with the organization of Sam Coupland and Dr. Neil Oakes of FMRC, Australasia’s leading professional development consultancy. They join Sean Larkan, Edge International’s first Australasian principal.

Sam Coupland

For the past 15 years, Sam Coupland has worked exclusively with the legal profession, assisting firms in strategy development, practice planning, equity valuations and equity transfers. Tailoring each engagement to the specific needs of his client, Sam ensures that the firm’s leaders understand exactly what steps must be taken to achieve pre-eminence in its chosen markets.

“Sam is considered the foremost authority on law firm valuations and performs more valuations than anyone else in Australia,” said Edge International co-founder Gerry Riskin. “We look forward to providing our law-firm clients worldwide with access to Sam’s robust valuation methodology to help them calculate accurate capitalization rates and assess the risk profile, cash flow and profitability of their firms.”

Sam is also a frequent presenter on practice-management-related topics, delivering dynamic presentations through FMRC programs and professional conferences to hundreds of lawyers every year, in the areas of financial management, business development, succession planning, strategy, and people management.

Neil Oakes

A director of FMRC for 20 years, Neil Oakes, PhD assists law firms with strategy and profit growth, partner/director management and profit sharing, key talent management, management structures, and succession management consulting. He regularly conducts law firm planning retreats and helps large and small, private, corporate and government legal organizations to function optimally.

“Neil has been studying, measuring and reporting on Australasian law firm performance for more than two decades and brings with him unsurpassed knowledge of the industry and where it is headed,” said Sean Larkan of Edge International. “He directs research and gathers data across a wide range of metrics including price, lawyer productivity, and the drivers of law firm profit. He brings great experience and depth of expertise to Edge.”

Neil’s day-to-day involvement with the legal profession includes the measurement and maintenance of performance through comparative-analysis benchmarking, profit improvement, and strategic reviews of law firms, in-house legal departments and public sector law offices. He helps partnerships to function well and assists firms with the management of staff, partner performance, and the daily challenges of managing a law firm.