Strategy

What’s Value? Answer One Question

Newish to many lawyers, rarely to their delight, is a growing realization that when clients start talking about the price for legal services, they don’t (really) care whether that price is arrived at by summing a whole lot of billable hours, a negotiated “AFA,” a successful RFP submission, or drawing straws. What clients really want
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Articles, Business Models, Client Relationships, Leadership, Strategy

M&A “Cultural Due Diligence”

The widely experienced and catholically curious Lee Pacchia (formerly of Bloomberg Law, now at his own Mimesis Law) asked me to stop by his studio last week and talk about the role of culture in law firm combinations.  I also touch on the issue of “deal momentum,” how to really try to get a handle on another
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

M&A Due Diligence With a Soul

To paraphrase the gone-but-not-forgotten E.F. Hutton campaign (I did work on Wall Street—I’m allowed these memories), when a Director Emeritus of McKinsey, who founded and led the firm’s global practice supporting mergers and acquisitions, speaks about “culture” in the M&A context, people listen. The fellow is David Fubini, and he recently published Before a merger,
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

Checkbook Recruiting

From the Kirkland & Ellis site, under the topic Careers–>Laterals Overview (I quote in full, emphasis supplied): At Kirkland, the quality and experience of our lawyers are among our greatest strengths. We are committed to making a substantial investment in our lateral hires by fostering an environment in which they are seamlessly integrated into our
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Recruiting, Strategy

Money or Culture?

Circling in the wings around almost any discussion of management and leadership issues in law firms, sometimes touted as a virtue above all others and sometimes only alluded to with caution, as one would might a wraith, is the issue of a firm’s “culture.” A few observations about culture in Law Land: Firms and their
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

The UK’s LSA in the US?

A few weeks ago, an editor at the Oxford University Press site, “Academic Insights for the Thinking World,” was kind enough to write me and ask if I might care to submit an essay for their site.  Yes, I’d be delighted, was my response; what about?  “Up to you – within reason, of course.” “Understand,”
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Globalization, Strategy

Living in Liminal Times

“lim•in•al” (1) of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process; (2) occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. From the Latin limen/liminis: threshold, doorway. You may not have thought of it this way, but we are living in liminal times. The word and the concept
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

Innovate? Who, me?

Legal Business recently ran a piece on leadership in law firms which—surprisingly for articles on this topic—actually succeeded in getting beyond bromidic pablum. I commend it to you in its entirety, but meanwhile I want to talk about a particular perspective they called out for special attention, “innovation:” Law firm clients clearly want to see
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Articles, Marketing, Strategy

In Chicago Thursday 20 November

Will you be in Chicago Thursday, November 20 at 6:00 pm? If so, you must come to what promises to be an engaging discussion about the rapidly evolving market dynamics of Law Land. Panelists will include: It will be at The Standard Club, 320 South Plymouth Court. From the description of the event: Join preeminent
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About the Site, Articles, Book Reviews, Strategy

2014 Nobel in Economics

Around this time of year the Nobel Prize in Economics is awarded, and while we don’t always cover it here on Adam Smith, Esq., this year’s is worth a note. As everyone who cares about these things an iota knows by now, the winner was Jean Tirole of Toulouse University in France, for his work
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Articles, Just Plain Interesting, Strategy