Finance

How Reliable are the AmLaw Numbers?

The AmLaw rankings have been with us for over thirty years, and despite the evergreen complaints about their design, purpose, impact, and reliability, to our knowledge no one has ever tried to systematically ask AmLaw firms themselves whether and to what extent they actually comply in reporting accurate data.  We think it’s time to take a look. We
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Articles, Finance, Partnership Structures, Recruiting

A Client Value Guarantee?

Today I want to discuss what, I imagine, many readers will thing is a hare-brained idea; and then I want to explain why, if you adopted this idea, your own behavior would change such that it might not end up being hare-brained in the least. Both dimensions of this discussion, I believe, have value, although
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Articles, Business Models, Client Relationships, Finance, Marketing, Practice Group Management

R&D for law firms: Can we learn from Corporate America?

Today’s column is by Janet Stanton, Partner, Adam Smith, Esq. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Law Land resists change like the plague. And, yes, this is pretty widely attributed to the phenom known as the “lawyer personality,” characterized by an almost pathological aversion to risk.  But let’s unpack this a bit to better understand
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Articles, Finance, Leadership, Strategy, Technology strategy

Designing the Future Law Firm

You may have heard about the Business Leadership Summit being organized by The Lawyer, taking place in London September 22—23. (More information here; registration here.) The theme is “embracing change in the delivery of legal services,” and here are are a few of the highlights: The keynote speaker on Day 2 will be Peter Kalis,
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Complexity Requires Systems

Much talk has been devoted lately to whether the growth of in-house law departments will take market share from Big Law, or, posed more in the language of economics, whether in-house lawyers are a reasonable substitute for outside counsel. Confessing that I have not devoted concerted effort to exploring the issue, I suppose my own
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Strategy, Technology strategy

Financial or Strategic M&A?

The industry standard in tracking law firm mergers, Altman Weil’s Mergerline, has had this to say about activity in the wake of the Global Financial Reset (emphasis mine): 2011:  “There were 60 law firm mergers and acquisitions announced in the United States in 2011.  The annual total was up 54% from 2010 and at the
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Articles, Finance, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

De-Listing

With the annual publication of the AmLaw 100 and Second Hundred, it’s rankings season for BigLaw. Think of it as our little industry’s equivalent of earnings season for public companies—we having become a “quasi public” industry, as one of my favorite managing partners has observed. The difference is that we report our financials annually as
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Articles, Finance, Globalization, Strategy

What’s Your GE Capital Practice?

Do you ever actually look hard at your firm’s overall business structure? No, really. Let’s go a step further. Stipulating arguendo that you are one of the rare few who do every once in awhile take a hard look, what do you then actually do about it? I submit that we have in two seemingly
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

Pricing Power

The growth of professionals in Law Land with the word “pricing” in their title has been explosive over the past couple of years. It’s a trend we applaud loudly and fervently, so perhaps it’s worth a primer on how it’s done in the major leagues: When B2B companies with thousands of SKU’s and tens or
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Marketing, Practice Group Management, Strategy

ABA Antitrust Immunity? Not so fast

Hallelujah! A profession just lost a very big round at the Supreme Court. I refer of course to the Court’s 6-3 ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, finding that the dental examiners’ board attempting to prohibit nondentists from teeth whitening violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. If you think this was
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Globalization, Strategy