Adam Smith, Esq., Consulting Services

Our promise to our clients

We are a boutique management consultancy serving law firms around the world of every size and in every market segment, to help your firm better prepare for tomorrow. We handle every engagement as bespoke, with no ready-made advice or one-size-fits-all matrices.

Our focus is squarely on law firms; we don’t work with in-house departments or other professional services companies which, in actuality bear little resemblance to law firms.

Our approach is high-touch, informed by data and the history and capabilities of your specific firm, and driven by the insights, perspective, and judgment of the only people you’ll work with, our principals–who bring to your engagement their decades of deep study of the industry.

A few other things about us…

  • We provide our unvarnished opinions and we will tell you what we think. But we promise to be very nice about it, and we recognize that you are the client—meaning that we’ll be highly supportive of whatever decisions are ultimately taken.
  • We work collaboratively with our clients. This means among other things that we’ll check in regularly during the process and will seek your inputs along the way.
  • We use a range of creative techniques, many unique to us to enhance your firm’s decision-making as well as build consensus and buy-in. Obviously, we’re flexible and tailor each approach to best suit each client’s needs, constraints, etc..
  • Our presentations are content-rich, engaging and tailored to the issues of each firm. We “sweat” our reports.  Each is built on a cohesive strategic framework germane to each firm and then leads to firm-specific recommendations and observations.  We don’t do “data dumps” nor measure our worth “by the pound,” but rather by data-informed insights leading to practical, specific action items.
  • We take our work very seriously – but not ourselves. We love what we do.
  • As you should expect, we approach all our work with the utmost confidentiality, discretion, and probity.

 
“Everything should be as simple as possible— but not simpler.” — Einstein

    Strategy Development

    A strategic plan is no longer a nice-to-have. Our own and others’ research confirm that firms that have a compelling, distinctive strategy (and stick to it) consistently outperform those that don’t.

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    Compensation

    We believe that incentives matter and if you watch how lawyers behave you will find them closely attuned to the behaviors that bring the greatest rewards at year end. That’s why many firms come to us for counsel on their compensation structures—from a tweak to a clean-sheet-of-paper overhaul.

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    Mergers & Acquisitions

    The sad reality is that many mergers don’t live up to expectations, leaving the combination, in some ways, worse off than before the merger.  A key reason is that, frankly, many mergers were a bad idea from the start – and then were poorly implemented.  That said, the pace of mergers continues to accelerate.

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    Succession Planning

    A successful transition of your firm’s leadership roles and key client relationships into new hands is essential to ensure the firm’s sustainability and future vitality.  At Adam Smith, Esq., we can help you address the complexities of these transitions and make them disciplined and smooth.

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    Premortem

    The premise of a premortem is simple. Those considering adopting a new initiative—say, a strategic plan, a new compensation system, a technique for measuring profitability or streamlining workflow—are asked to imagine themselves a year hence when the initiative has failed miserably. Everyone is invited to take a few minutes writing down the reasons it failed.

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    Independent Directors

    The challenges facing law firms continue to ratchet up with no end in sight.  This might be the very time to consider alternative approaches to help your firm manage, even anticipate what might be coming next.  Or perhaps there’s been a thorny internal issue that just won’t go away. That’s where we come in.

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    Workshops

    At Adam Smith, Esq., we conduct a wide range of workshops to help firms achieve clarity on a variety of issues they face.  We tailor each format to best address your specific challenges.  We generate full participation and then use simple techniques that reveal where consensus lies. 

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    Research

    Too often law firms base their business decisions on little or no objective inputs or analysis – which would be a felony in the practice of law.

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    Retreats & Conferences

    The costs of putting together and attending law firm retreats and industry conferences, both in time and financial outlays, can be considerable. We’ve worked with dozens of firms and other organizations to help ensure that the outcomes are more than commensurate with the investment — as evidenced by the many clients who keep inviting us back.

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    Law School Lectures

    As our closest approximation to pro bono service, we make it a resolution and a custom to serve as guest lecturers at leading law schools around the world…

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    What we do not do:

    We do not consult on the following topics, although we know several firms and individuals who can provide exceptional service in each of these areas and are happy to offer recommendations:

    • Individual coaching or mentoring;
    • HR issues;
    • IT from the technical perspective (as opposed to its strategic dimension, such as Knowledge Management)


    Based in Manhattan, with an office in Bogotá, Colombia, we operate globally, in North and South America, in the UK and Europe.

    Where We’ll Be

    There’s no substitute for face to face. Meeting in person invites nuance, shading, adds dimensions to communication, and fosters stronger relationships. So, we travel. Here are a few of our upcoming locations. Are you in the area? Want to meet? Let us know.

    Zurich & Geneva
    August 27, 2019 Zurich & Geneva
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    Publications

    Contact

    Bruce MacEwen, President
    Email
    direct: +1.212.866.4800
    mobile: .+1.212.866.2630
    New York

    Janet Stanton, Partner
    Email
    direct: +1.212.866.4270
    New York

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