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providing research, training & management advice to law firms
throughout Australasia for the past 30 Years.


Succession – Large Firms

March 21st, 2017 | Published by

When it comes to succession in larger firms there are a number of facets that need to be considered – transition of clients from one generation to the next, the management of the firm and of course the financials, or transaction of succession both in and out.  This article looks at the financial side and... View Article

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Green shoots showing in Australia and New Zealand legal markets

December 9th, 2016 | Published by

After a number of years of patchy performance, the legal market in Australia and New Zealand appears to have found its feet and is performing strongly – that said, those plucky Kiwis probably climbed out of the slump a little earlier than 2016. There is always a danger in making sweeping generalisations about an industry... View Article

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Do we need to slice the pie differently?

August 19th, 2016 | Published by

  Recent client engagements have had a heavy emphasis on partner compensation. What makes this newsworthy is that many of these firms have historically been committed to equal profit share but perceived differentials in performance are giving rise to tensions that some in the partnership feel can only be remedied through differential compensation. Being part... View Article

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Successful Succession

July 19th, 2016 | Published by

As has been predicted for a while now, the legal profession is undergoing a significant transfer of ownership and clients from one generation to the next. This is happening whilst the pressures arising from the often discussed ‘new law’ models make their presence felt. Many ageing lawyers look blankly when asked about their succession plan.... View Article

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Eight reasons for optimism

June 15th, 2016 | Published by

There has been no shortage of pessimistic predictions for the future of legal practice. Issues such as graduate oversupply and underemployment, digital disruption and increasing disintermediation, increasing price competition coupled with increased cost of delivery, greater client empowerment and price sensitivity seem to dominate the legal media. In addition to these now perennial issues, firms... View Article

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The changing nature of “leverage”

April 20th, 2016 | Published by

Ten years ago, profitability was relatively straightforward: leverage, price and productivity, right? The more the better. Ten years ago, one of the strongest correlates to ‘high-profit performance’ was ‘employed lawyers with less than five years experience per equity partner’. How things have changed. It is becoming increasingly difficult to delegate work and clients to junior lawyers; an... View Article

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Due Diligence – What to look for under the bonnet

March 20th, 2016 | Published by

In recent months I have been working with a number of firms going through the process of either merging firms or involved in a sale and purchase. That this activity has increased in recent years should not be a surprise as the ability for firms to grow organically to achieve economies of scale or fill... View Article

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Rethinking fee earner budgets

January 18th, 2016 | Published by

Law firms of all shapes and sizes have been setting fee earner budgets for many years. In many firms this process has involved some common and consistent features: Budgets are set based on a multiple of the fee earner’s salary. Most fee earners fail to achieve their budgets. Bonuses intended to motivate usually don’t. Budgets... View Article

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Are traditional profit-sharing models the enemy of diversity?

December 9th, 2015 | Published by

Methodologies for sharing profit among equity partners have been an interest of mine for many years. Some time ago I wrote a doctoral thesis on the behavioural consequences of alternative models, in particular the impact of various models on equity partner diversity. When I started monitoring and consulting law firms in the late 1980s, equal... View Article

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Variable Cost Base: Why, What, and How?

October 18th, 2015 | Published by

The legal profession, and arguably all professions, have to date been comprised of top-line focussed firms. In its simplest terms, the management thinking could be summarised as ‘If we get the revenue right, the costs and profit will take care of themselves’. In most cases this proved very effective. For the thirty years prior to... View Article

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