The Age of Anxiety

We’re just back from a week in London—coincidentally smack in the middle of the UK firms’ earnings-release season—and for reasons far more profound than that annual roll call of bragging rights, the level of preoccupation with the future in the great City has never to us seemed higher to us. A telling, and extremely representative,
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

“Disruption:” Barbarians at the Gates?

Lots of loose language has been tossed about lately on the topic of “disruption,” and it may be time for a bit of perspective. McKinsey, never late to a trend, published Strategic principles for competing in the digital age a few weeks ago, noting that “Digitization is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent companies
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

How profitable are law firms? Really

Today, a column from Janet Stanton, inviting us (with her) to take a fresh view of Law Land with a brain uncorrupted by having lived her entire life in Our World: A challenge to our readers:  Just how profitable are law firms? Having spent most of my professional career in Corporate Land, I was innocent of
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Articles, Finance

What’s Your Merger Score?

Law firm merger talk seems more in the air than ever, with deals and rumors of deals abounding and redoubtable resources such as Altman Weil’s MergerLine reporting record levels of activity. We would like to believe we’re relatively impervious to being swayed by what’s in vogue (or what’s not), and we certainly do not inhabit
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Articles, Finance, M&A, Strategy

The Hollow Middle Since 2008

I call it the Hollow Middle, but Knowledge@Wharton prefers “Disappearing Middle.” Here’s what, writing in their pages, the CEO of the Cambridge Group, identified as “a growth strategy consulting firm that is part of Nielsen,” has to say about it: The Great Recession forced consumers to drastically rethink their purchase behaviors and, even though many
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Articles, Branding, Client Relationships, Finance, Leadership, 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

Happy Birthday, Adam Smith

He would be 291 years old today. And what a surpassing dinner companion he would doubtless be.


What Does The AmLaw Second Hundred Tell Us?

Brief thoughts prompted by the release a few days ago of the AmLaw Second Hundred. These are firms ##101—200 in the AmLaw ranking, and by and large they’re regional shops based in secondary metropolitan areas, or small shops in primary cities, or specialists. First a few headline numbers just to set the stage: For these
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, 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

Memorial Day