Partnership Structures

Leadership: And How to Squander It

Altman Weil’s annual Law Firms in Transition survey, the 2015 edition, was just published, and as usual it makes for some fascinating reading—at least for me and I suspect for many of the devotees of Adam Smith, Esq. As you may know, this is the seventh year they’ve done this survey in more or less
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Articles, Client Relationships, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Letter from London: Part I

We recently returned from London on business, and this will be the first of a few installments presenting our thoughts given the benefit of 17 meetings in five business days. As you know, we work globally with firms of all sizes in a wide variety of markets with every permutation of office footprint and practice
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

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

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

Money or Culture?

Circling in the wings around almost any discussion of management and leadership issues in law firms, sometimes touted as a virtue above all others and sometimes only alluded to with caution, as one would might a wraith, is the issue of a firm’s “culture.” A few observations about culture in Law Land: Firms and their
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy


A few weeks ago reports surfaced about a motion seeking to compel Norton Rose Fulbright to withdraw from representation of its client Duke University in a case brought against the university by the estate of John Wayne, which wants the right to market alcoholic beverages branded with Wayne’s “Duke” nickname—a textbook trademark dispute. The Wayne
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Articles, Branding, Business Models, Client Relationships, Leadership, M&A, Marketing, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Letter from Near and Far

Gentle Reader: Apologies for not having published more frequently over the past couple of weeks but business has taken us to Paris, the south of France, London, Portland, and Seattle–with 48 hours in New York inbetween the European and the Pacific Northwest trips. We met with firms ranging from the Magic and Silver Circle to US-based
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, 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

The 5:1 Male/Female Partner Ratio

For those of you who may have missed it, we refer you forthwith to Brian Dalton’s latest column on Above The Law, “Is There a Business Case for More Female BigLaw Partners?” Anyone with a scintilla of conscience can only look at the information presented there with some combination of shame and dismay—if not despair.
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Recruiting, Strategy

More Equity Partner Cuts to Come?

The always intrepid Lee Pacchia of Bloomberg Law invited me to come by and talk about the quarterly reports on the State of BigLaw just released by Citi Private Bank and Wells Fargo’s law group. We also got off on the topic of whether lawyers can really be “entrepreneurial,” and what I fear may be
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy