I spoke in Toronto Tuesday evening at a panel on “The Future of BigLaw” put together by Above the Law and sponsored by Recommind, which got coverage in The Canadian Lawyer.  A few highlights:

  • I was joined on the panel by Gary Luftspring, managing partner of Ricketts Harris LLP in Toronto, and Scott Jolliffe, chairman and CEO of Gowling Lafleuer Henderson LLP (also in Toronto).
  • While the Canadian market may not have been as immediately impacted by the Great Reset as the US and UK markets, the repercussions are now beginning to kick in, especially in sophisticated and finance-centric cities such as Toronto.
  • Because law firm performance shows greater dispersion of results than ever (for better and for worse), strategy matters more than ever and differentiation matters more than ever.
  • Visibility forward is obscure; this suggests the future will be owned by those who invent it, which means firms all need to experiment.
  • We have moved from a healthy growth environment to a battle for market share, which requires a different mindset about competition, clients, business development, and the very structure of our firms. (As one audience participant put it, “I have two words for you: ‘Laundry detergent.'”)
  • While we may talk a good game about client service, too few lawyers take the simplest of steps of asking clients what they want and what “value” would actually mean to them.  We need, in other words, to stop assuming we know what’s best.

Thanks to all who made the event possible, and to all those–familiar and new–who were able to attend.

Gary, Bruce, and Scott

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