Different Price Points/One Brand?

I’ve previously mentioned the Business Leadership Summit being organized by The Lawyer, taking place in London September 22—23. (More information here; registration here.) On the afternoon of Wednesday 23 September I will be moderating a panel (3:30 pm – 4:30 pm) on “The Law Firm of Tomorrow,” which will include Charles Martin, Senior Partner, Macfarlanes; Darryl Cooke, Managing Partner,
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Articles, Branding, Business Models, Client Relationships, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy

The Bergdorf Effect

A week or two ago, we were having drinks here in New York with two senior corporate partners at an AmLaw 25 firm that is quite self-aware enough to know it’s not in the realm of the super-elite, and the topic turned to pricing. A matter they’d both been working on since earlier this year
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Articles, Client Relationships, Finance, Marketing, Strategy

Your Opinion Please on the AmLaw Numbers

Last week I published a column asking you to weigh in on how reliable you believe the AmLaw numbers to be – and your firm’s degree of participation in the survey. (Firms that aren’t AmLaw reporting firms can simply record that fact as their answer.) Our reasons for doing this are utterly straightforward: The AmLaw rankings
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Articles, Compensation, 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


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