Letter from London: Part II

This is the second in a two-part series recapping some of our thoughts, analyses, and impressions gleaned during our time in London late last month.  The first installment, where we discussed Business Models and Compensation, is here. Today’s topics are Efficiency and innovation, and the Challenge of geography (as in running a multi-jurisdiction, potentially multi-continental,
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Globalization, Leadership, Strategy, Technology 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

Letter from Sao Paulo

Just back from a week of meetings with law firms in Sao Paulo, and a few impressions are worth reporting. First of all, everyone—no surprise—has the political situation in Brazil on their minds front and center. President Dilma Rousseff’s approval ratings are reportedly at 6—7%, an all-time low since polling began in the country after
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Articles, Globalization, Leadership

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

Dentons/Dacheng: A Theory

I wasn’t going to write about Dacheng/Dentons until I was. When I first heard about the mega tie-up creating the largest law firm in the world—records are made to be broken, as any number of athletes will happily confide in you—I had only two thoughts: First, this will get everyone’s attention; and second, there is
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Articles, Globalization, Strategy

What Macroeconomics Means to You

Across my desk last week came US Trust’s 2015 Investment Strategy Overview, a 40-page publication laying out their view of the year ahead for investors, including their highlights and overall perspective as well as a global macro overview, their views on specific asset classes including “alternative” assets, an investment themes update, and their sector allocation
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Articles, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Strategy

A Conversation with Joe Longo

Last month I had the pleasure of being on a panel in Europe with Joe Longo, the General Counsel for Asia-Pacific of Deutsche Bank AG.  Joe had some particularly thought-provoking and hard-headed observations about the changing dynamics between law firms and clients.  I thought it would be worth drawing Joe out a bit more extensively
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Articles, Client Relationships, Globalization, Leadership, Profiles of Individuals

The UK’s LSA in the US?

A few weeks ago, an editor at the Oxford University Press site, “Academic Insights for the Thinking World,” was kind enough to write me and ask if I might care to submit an essay for their site.  Yes, I’d be delighted, was my response; what about?  “Up to you – within reason, of course.” “Understand,”
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Globalization, Strategy

The Elite Face-Off: NY vs. London

A famous former (and now late)  leader of the US House of Representatives, the classic Boston pol Tip O’Neill, supposedly remarked that “all politics is local.”  To that I would add MacEwen’s corollary, that “all rivalries are local.” In many ways, the leading candidate for most intense local rivalry in BigLaw is between London’s four
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Our New Book: A Taxonomy of Firms

Many of you have read or know of our first book, Growth Is Dead: Now What? Law firms on the brink, published early in 2013. We now have a sequel of sorts, just published this week: A New Taxonomy: The seven law firm business models. “A sequel of sorts” in the sense that the Now
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Strategy