I was sceptical at first that I could do more than I was already doing, or work in a more efficient way.  However after several meetings with Barry things started to change in my mind set which meant opportunities were identified which had previously been missed.  His understanding on my specialist area of law, how I worked best as an individual, not only made me more focused but was instrumental in assisting me to obtain the confidence to develop cold contacts into warm contacts, which produced work from clients who I previously thought were completely out of my league.

- Judith Rountree, Lawnet Young Lawyer of the Year 2013, Gardner Leader Solicitors

Improving Management - Improving Performance

Date: 25.03.2015

It is often said that a manager’s role is to get ordinary people to deliver extraordinary results. Managing any business is a challenging occupation, but law firms are not comprised largely of ordinary people – they are often replete with highly intelligent, gifted and sometimes headstrong individuals who by the nature of their work have a high degree of autonomy, and at times including many who have no desire to be managed!

Two Types of Motivation

Date: 24.02.2015

Firms in professional service industries have traditionally focused on what could be described as the avoidance, or mitigation, of pain. Just as a doctor would ask a patient to describe their presenting symptoms, seek to provide a diagnosis of the underlying cause, and prescribe a treatment to alleviate the cause of the suffering, so professionals (including, of course, lawyers) often present themselves as the skilled and experienced diagnostician – dealing not only with symptoms, but with the underlying causes of some malady affecting their client’s personal of professional affairs.

Uber-fixed Costs

Date: 24.02.2015

Our regular readers will be familiar with our analysis of the majority of law firms as overwhelmingly fixed cost operations, and of the imperative for forward-looking firms to inject a far greater degree of flexibility into their cost structures. Given the very high proportion of law firms’ costs that can be attributed to ‘people costs’, introducing more flexibility in the way in which the firm employs its people is something we have long advocated and we believe for many will not be optional in the foreseeable future.

Still Squeezed in the Middle

Date: 27.01.2015

In our 2011 white paper on the future for independent law firms  we identified the potential for a “Gastric Band” type squeeze on mid-market law firms – with formidable pressures both from above and below, driven by the ‘three forces’ of deregulation; globalisation and low-cost competition; and technology.

Revisiting the Role of the FD

Date: 27.01.2015

The role of the law firm Finance Director has come under increasing scrutiny during the recent years of turmoil and economic contraction. Now that the economy has been growing for some time and firms that have run a tight-ship look to exploit the resurgence of demand for their services, it is perhaps apposite to reflect again on the range of functions that a good FD (or CFO) can perform.

Managing the Partners

Date: 27.11.2014

We have written extensively in recent years about the changes in the market and the impact these have had, and will continue to have, on the business operations of UK law firms. A shifting regulatory environment (and changes to legal aid), ever increasing competition and advances in technology are forcing firms to consider their business model – and we have long argued that the implications of these changes will include consolidation via M&A (and failures), and the further growth of niche or boutique areas.
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