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

Why Are You Leading?

Implicit throughout virtually anything published here on Adam Smith, Esq. is leadership. As an issue, a challenge, a conundrum, and even a definitional challenge (what is “leadership”?). Because it’s pregnant in most everything, and because it’s perhaps the single topic leading most writers in business theory and management into recursive quagmires of tautologies and into
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Articles, Leadership

ABA’s Annual Listing of Top Law Sites

We blush (a near-cringe might be more accurate) to do this, but I suppose it’s incumbent upon us as a publisher in Law Land to let you know that the ABA is compiling its annual list of what they–with considerable assistance from people like you–think are the “top 100″ law-related websites. You can vote for any site(s) you
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About the Site, Articles

Change is neither good nor bad: It is

With this, his inaugural column, it is my great pleasure to introduce to our readers and clients Doug Caddell, who is formally joining Adam Smith, Esq. as a senior advisor (see the About Us page for more on Doug’s distinguished background). Doug brings over three decades of experience in strategy-focused technology leadership in our industry
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Articles, IT, Knowledge Management, Leadership, Strategy

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