Delusions of Crowds

When a large number of smart, accomplished, ambitious people seem to be behaving in a way that makes no rational sense, there has to be an irrational explanation. I’ve written and spoken before about my overall attitude towards aggressive lateral partner recruitment. As Calvin Coolidge reportedly said, leaving church and asked by a reporter what
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting, Strategy

A Call to Arms: III

The first installment in this series presented the background and basic ramifications of the proposal now pending in Congress to require law firms and other professional service firms with annual revenue over $10-million to adopt the accrual accounting basis and not the cash basis. The second installment outlined the financial repercussions in dollars and cents,
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Globalization, Strategy

Give Credit Where Credit’s Due

Or, recognizing successful client relationship management. [This is another in our series by Janet Stanton, Partner, Adam Smith, Esq.] Winning a new client for the firm—there’s little that can match that for excitement, sense of accomplishment and visible contribution to the firm.  More so if the client is big or prestigious.  A pitch is often
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Marketing

See Talent. Liberate it.

It’s been viewed online nearly 7 million times. Sheryl Sandberg calls it one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley. And it was created by the company whose stock increased in 2013 more than any other’s in the S&P 500—up nearly 350%. “It” is a 126-slide PowerPoint called “Netflix Culture:
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting

Compensation Design

Come one, come all! Right here in New York: On Thursday, January 30th From 9:00 am to 4:00 pm At the AMA Executive Conference Center (48th & Broadway) I’ll be delivering the keynote address and participating in a day-long conference on Compensation Design for Law Firms. Among my fellow speakers and panelists will be: William
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About the Site, Articles, Compensation

See Talent. Feed It.

Turnabout. I recently wrote about how to demoralize, discourage, and disenchant top talent. This is about how to retain that talent. Like the prior column, this one is based on one of the top columns of the year from Strategy + Business, the Booz & Co. publication: “Retaining Top Talent: Yes, It Really Is All
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Articles, Compensation, Leadership, Recruiting

More Equity Partner Cuts to Come?

The always intrepid Lee Pacchia of Bloomberg Law invited me to come by and talk about the quarterly reports on the State of BigLaw just released by Citi Private Bank and Wells Fargo’s law group. We also got off on the topic of whether lawyers can really be “entrepreneurial,” and what I fear may be
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, 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

Our Arms’ Race (2)

Now that I have published a column (“Our Arms Race“) which took a stand against lateral partner hiring almost across the board, let me acknowledge the obvious and state for the record that no matter what anyone says or the track record shows, lateral partner hiring is here to stay. So if you’re determined to
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Articles, Compensation, Leadership, Recruiting

Our Arms’ Race

Within the past 48 hours: Managing Partner #1 (an AmLaw 50 firm) said to me, “I just don’t understand this lateral hiring frenzy. I just don’t get it. Do you?” Managing Partner #2 (an AmLaw 50, and one whose strategy has been so widely articulated and publicized, through word and deed, for a dozen years,
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Articles, Compensation, Leadership, Recruiting, Strategy