Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

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Sustaining Success in the Changing Law Firm World: Four Fundamentals

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition

It can’t be overstated. The legal services business is experiencing dramatic change.  For law firms as institutions, it is obvious because more work than ever before is brought in-house by clients, and alternative service providers are rushing into the competitive landscape.  Besides the increase in competition, there are technical and practice advances that have changed the… Continue Reading

Four Ways a Strategically Designed Merger Can Strengthen Your Law Firm and Make it More Competitive

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition

Despite the seemingly “good” year that 2018 was for many law firms, experience tells us that ”good” can be  a relative thing.  While 2018 performance data compares favorably to the data from the prior years following the Great Recession, all is not completely rosy.  Today’s law firms face more competition than ever as market share… Continue Reading

Focusing on a Great 2019-Five Areas for Law Firms to Consider

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

No sooner than closing out 2018 than do law firm leaders confront the next challenge-2019.  Even firms not facing upheaval caused by attorney departures or declining client relationships will encounter other transitional events.  The contest never ends. Whether 2019 preparations are just getting started or already developed, some areas deserve a firm’s attention.  Focusing on… Continue Reading

Law Firms Enjoy Positive 2018-What If Your Firm Didn’t?

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs

Although the final numbers are not in yet, 2018 has been touted as a good year for law firms.  Based on various reports including the 2019 Citi-Hildebrandt Client Advisory, revenues were up, billing rate increases held, and client demand increased.  These improvements are not shocking as law firm performance has been ascending in recent years.… Continue Reading

Law Firm Profitability and Client Satisfaction: Using a Pricing Pro to Achieve Both

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership

Law firm leaders understandably see lucrative client work as an important key to overall firm profitability.  Left to their own devices, those leaders would eagerly raise rates or otherwise take steps to ratchet up the yield on work.  In contrast, their clients often consider the containment of legal costs as a key component to valuable… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning-Five Mistakes to Avoid

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

The issue of succession planning at law firms is a topic of great importance.  The need to address succession won’t always wait until a convenient time and makes planning as important than ever. Succession planning among firms, whether leadership succession or client relationship transition, is a mixed bag. Some firms have thought about it deeply… Continue Reading

Minimizing the Risk of an Unexpected Law Firm Closure-Five Steps Every Law Firm Should Take

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

As the calendar year comes to a close, there is a lot to do at most law firms. Activities like collecting bills, distributing profits and casting next year’s budget can occupy many a leadership team. The tasks at hand can be time consuming and all engrossing. Given the importance of these short-term issues, thinking about… Continue Reading

Five Law Firm Client Succession Strategies-Finding the Best Approach for Your Firm

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

There are two primary succession challenges law firms face.  Leadership succession is one and is a vitally important step to assure a firm’s longevity.  A second kind of law firm succession involves the succession of client relationships as senior-lawyers wind-down or retire. As hard as leadership succession can be, managing client relationship succession can be… Continue Reading

Four Important Phases in Achieving Law Firm Merger Success

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition

Law firm growth gets a lot of attention. Among the various approaches to law firm growth is the tactic of merger. Almost weekly we are treated to another announcement about two law firms fulfilling their desire to grow by combining. And although law firm mergers have been part of the landscape for years, the incidence… Continue Reading

Merger Madness-Five Reasons Your Merger Can Go Wrong

Posted in Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition

It almost seems like a broken record to hear about the popularity of law firm mergers.  Legal industry publications report on the latest mergers and hot market trends.  Indeed, just recently The American Lawyerreviewed the merger opportunities that abound for mid-size firms in its Mid-size Firm Leaders Awash in Big Law Merger Offers. Despite the… Continue Reading

Merger as a Law Firm Succession Plan-Five Steps to Getting it Done Correctly

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

Every year law firms of all sizes merge. For some of the smaller law firms merging, the decision to combine may have been driven by the need for an effective succession plan. In these cases in which long-time management is unenthused about the prospect of turning the keys over the next generation, merger can be… Continue Reading

Five Warning Signs That Your Law Firm is Headed for Uncertain Times

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs

As business organizations go, law firms are different because they can face greater stability challenges.  Sure, law firms with iconic names seem to rock along year after year.  But for every bedrock firm there are others that struggle to survive.  And even some of the firms regarded for their steady state are like the proverbial… Continue Reading

Merging Your Small Law Firm into a Bigger One-Five Additional Things Smart Firms Think About

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition

Law firm mergers happen-a lot.  While the mega mergers get the publicity, many mergers stay under the radar because they involve smaller firms being absorbed by larger firms. Whether for reasons of market dynamics, succession, or battling for growth, some smaller firms simply conclude that life will be better as part of a bigger shop. A… Continue Reading

Avoiding Post Law Firm Merger Culture Wars-Six Things to Consider Before Getting Married

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition

Law firm mergers have been in the news with combinations being announced seemingly every week.  So far in 2018, the many mergers closed have drawn the attention of the media and law firm leaders alike.  The rationale for any of the announced mergers depends on the specific transaction and the firms involved.  Whatever the reason,… Continue Reading

Getting a Bigger Piece of the Client Pie-Positioning Your Firm for More than a Sliver

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition

To control costs and improve legal service, more client legal work has been brought in-house in recent years.  As clients have achieved those twin goals, the proximity of readily available legal services to business decision makers has spawned greater institutional reliance on the captive legal departments.  The increased access to legal services for company business… Continue Reading

Succession Planning as Financial Planning: Five Critical Components

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

Succession planning is an important issue for many law firms, especially as the Boomers and Generation Xers age and the human resource pyramid becomes an irregular shaped box.  When you add in the assault on the industry from client competition, alternative service providers, and artificial intelligence, the necessity of doing succession right is more critical… Continue Reading

Is it Time? Five Developments That Demand Action from Law Firm Leaders

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs

Running a law firm successfully is no easy task.  It is a multi-dimensional effort that requires leadership, discipline, vision, and some luck.  Getting all firm lawyers to row a boat in unison can be tough.  Even if some of the oars irregularly go into the water, progress is still possible. When attentive leaders work hard… Continue Reading

Rethinking Law Firm Succession-Five Reasons to Focus Differently

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

Law firm succession is a top of mind issue for today’s law firms.  Making sure one generation of leadership can hand the reins off to the next generation is a key concern.  Of course, it is not just having the right people in place to develop and execute sound strategies, but it also requires transitioning… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-A Way to Solve the Succession Dilemma

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

For many law firms, succession to the next generation presents a formidable and daunting challenge.  Leadership may have been too busy to plan ahead for succession.  Turnover at the firm may have dealt a blow to the goal of grooming someone to step in as the next leader.  Sometimes the next generation’s business development abilities… Continue Reading

Achieving Stability and Longevity for Your Law Firm-Five Fundamentals

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

Almost daily, lawyers come together and open new law firms.  High expectations accompany such births.  With owners committing to work hard, promising to exercise given and acquired skills, and counting on a little (but not too much) luck, the newly created institution teases with the prospect of success. The positive vibes at inception may be… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Checklist Item-Culture

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition

The spring of 2018 has produced a spate of large law firm mergers.  Despite this noticeable activity, the interest in mergers is not something new-over 600 mergers and acquisitions have closed since 2007.  Based on the tactic’s popularity among firm leaders seeking a competitive edge, we can expect more mergers in the future. For law… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession: Addressing the Most Important Issue

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition

After years of success (by any number of measures), more than a few firm founders (or later generation leaders) confront succession.  Some of them are simply ready to step back and enjoy life-turning their worries over to the next generation has great appeal.  Others are driven by unanticipated developments-illness or family circumstances compel them to… Continue Reading

Five Key Metrics for Grading Your Law Firm’s Annual Performance

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs

A law firm report card is a good thing.  Much like a child’s school report card telling a parent how school is going, a law firm report card can inform firm leadership about its progress, shortfalls, and areas that need improvement.  In these days of industry disruption and heightened competition, periodic assessments can give a… Continue Reading

When a Law Firm Grows Up-Five Steps to Maturing Well

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized

Sometimes it is as simple as two lawyers acting on obvious synergies and a law firm is born.  Once the firm is birthed, the days are heady ones as basic startup chores are mixed with the never-ending pursuit of clients, doing good work and building an enduring reputation.  Coming up for air can almost seem… Continue Reading

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