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

What’s Your Theory of the Business?

Year-end is often seen, understandably if somewhat arbitrarily, as a time for reflection. Actually, in my book there’s never a bad time for reflection, so I’ll take an arbitrary peg over no peg. I hope you share my core belief in the power of standing back for a good, hard, intellectually demanding fresh look—the kind
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Articles, Leadership, 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

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

How (Not) To Decide

Presumably you make decisions all the time, in managing your matters, selecting strategies and tactics, and of course outside the work environment as well—with your spouse or significant other, family, and pets; in the context of your church/synagogue/club/neighborhood; and on and on. If you’re in a position of leadership at your firm, you make different
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Articles, Leadership, Strategy

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 the Pacific Northwest

This fall we had the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time in the Pacific Northwest—multiple trips to Seattle and Portland—and became better acquainted with the dynamics of that particular local/regional legal market. No mention of those two cities would be complete without citing their fascination with all things (a) artisanal; (b) coffee-related; and
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Globalization, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

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