Business Models

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

“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

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

Our Battle for Market Share

It has become bromidic to observe that we’ve moved from a linear growth market, ever up and to the right, to one of flat demand (did someone say, “growth is dead?”). We are, in short, in a battle for market share. Welcome to the rest of the economy. That’s the bad news and the good
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Mid-Size

I was at a conference of “Canadian Law Firm Leaders” outside Toronto earlier this week, and one of the highlights of the event, to my mind, was a talk by a representative of PeerMonitor, ThomsonReuters’ data analytics arm, which compared the recent performance of AmLaw first hundred, AmLaw second hundred, and so-called “mid-size” firms (their
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

An Apprenticeship to Practice–That Works

I recently wrote about the depressing prospects for graduates of all but the top ten or twenty law schools (Two Law Grad Markets). And yes, these were statistical generalizations, and the experience of specific individuals with particular skills and backgrounds will always be different, pro and con. But as an industry, if you care about
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Articles, Business Models, Law Schools, Leadership, Recruiting, Strategy

3 Leading Indicators of Success

Turnabout. Today we have a sequel, in a yin-yang fashion, to our earlier column, “3 leading indicators of failure.” What might the equivalent indicators be for success, or outperformance? I’m not going to rehearse characteristics of successful firms that I consider elementary learning from Manaqement 101, or good organizational hygiene, any more than I would
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

Letter from London

Greetings from the right side of the pond: Impressions and observations from a wide-ranging series of conversations and meetings over the past few days. 1. Overall, the market here strikes me as a few years beyond—more evolved—than the US market. Why this is so I have no theory, but firms in general talk more crisply,
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Globalization, Strategy

A Conversation With Ted Burke

The other week I had the chance to sit down with Ted Burke, outgoing chief executive and global managing partner of Freshfields. I’ve known Ted for years, consider him a friend, and with the announcement a month or so ago that he would be stepping down at Freshfields a year ahead of expiration of his
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy