How the Mighty Fall: Part I

Jim Collins has authored or co-authored six books that have sold over 10-million copies altogether. Good to Great may be the most famous (published in 2001, still the #1 best seller on Amazon in “Strategic Business Planning”), but Built to Last is also right up there (2004). They’re both celebrations of extremely successful companies, and
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

Whither the Big 4?

Late this past week my partner Janet and I had the opportunity to participate in a panel at the 23rd annual Thomson Reuters Marketing Partner Forum (held this year in Orlando) on the “rise of the Big 4″—and, we took it to mean, all other species of non-law firm legal service providers. Here’s how the
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Strategy

The “Big Three” Annual Reports on Law Land

With the release last week of the Annual Report from Georgetown Law’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, the “Big Three” annual reports—Altman-Weil’s Law Firms in Transition, Citi/Hildebrandt’s Client Advisory, and Georgetown’s—are now all out and we can see what trends and developments they seem to discuss in common. Even armchair students of
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Don’t Go Public! (?)

It has become a commonplace—I have bowed to convention and endorsed the notion myself—to observe that law firms are labor-, not capital-, intensive, and that (here’s the dangerous and subtle segue) therefore there would be no benefit to them in taking on outside investors, much less going public. This is often combined, at least by
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Associate Comp & Econ 101

This will not be a lecture. However. In the course of navigating published analysis and coverage of our beloved industry, I can rely on regularly coming across pat assertions displaying such frightful ignorance of basic economics that I’m forced to conclude the speakers’ only encounter with Economics 101 was seeing it listed in a course
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Recruiting

The Client Seat: Coda

The final installment in the saga of our intrepid volunteers of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church wrestling with the hairball of New York City land use, zoning, landmarks, and countless other laws and regulations in trying to reach what should be a simple factual/legal conclusion: How many developable square feet, as of right, pertain to our
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Articles, Client Relationships, Finance, Ineffable

Video: Market Segmentation

Recently I had a chance to sit down with Ralph Baxter here in New York for an interview that was just released under the auspices of Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute. I invite you to take a look and of course to comment.  

Articles, Business Models, Client Relationships, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

Profit and Delusion

The following is reproduced from LegalBusiness with the kind permission of the author, Tony Griffiths, who heads the London office of K&L Gates. Many centuries ago while studying law as an undergraduate, a particularly inspiring corporate law lecturer suggested that I might want to read a book on management theory, as well as immersing myself in
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Articles, Business Models, Client Relationships, Finance, Strategy

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