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Category Archives: Australasia

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Don’t let nimbler law firms bake your cake and eat it!

Posted in Australasia, Brand, Leadership, Legal Profession, Personal Brand
If we are not careful nimbler brands will bake our cake and eat it

Each year I carefully review Interbrand’s excellent report on the top 100 global brands. No professional service firm brands feature there so you may well ask, what relevance do these largely commercial or corporate brands have for law firms? The reason I do is that Interbrand provides useful summary reports as to why these brands consistently outperform… Continue Reading

Women lawyers in Australia – how you can possibly help

Posted in Australasia, Culture, Diversity, Leadership, Legal Profession, People Strategy, Trust & Respect, Values
You can help women lawyers by completing the surveys referenced in this post - please see the clickable links (Sean Larkan, Edge International)

The President of the Law Council of Australia today published a column in the ALMJ along the lines of the title of this blog post – as a request was made for readers to complete an important survey, and given the importance of the subject-matter and the tight time-frame I have taken the liberty of… Continue Reading

Volatile future will demand law firms bring more to the party

Posted in Australasia, Change, Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Strategy, Uncategorized
Whether it be service offerings, fee levels, management of fee-related activities or developing individual brands and thought leadership around industry sector knowledge, law firms will need to think very carefully about what they bring to the client table in future

The challenging future legal and business environment which is widely anticipated will demand a lot more from law firms than providing quality legal advice. This is the view of Ian Robertson, long-standing managing partner of Holding Redlich’s Sydney office, writing in The Australian (apologies; link requires subscription or log-in) recently. This advice backs up on the… Continue Reading

Slater & Gordon and Russell Jones & Walker tie up confirms law firms as business-savvy innovators, not ‘merge or die’ desperadoes

Posted in Australasia, Brand, Business Models, Leadership, Legal Profession, Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategy, Uncategorized, Values
The S&G acquisition of RJ&W in the UK is a good example of successful law firms implementing carefully thought through strategy and vision

The world’s first listed legal practice, Australia’s Slater & Gordon (S&G), announced its agreement to buy national UK firm Russell Jones & Walker (RJW) for £53.8 million on the 30 January 2012.  My UK-based Edge International Partner Chris Bull joins me in this post as we consider some of the implications of this transaction and how the respective markets… Continue Reading

Wall Street Journal’s ‘law firms must merge or die’ revisited

Posted in Australasia, Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategy
Merger is not a panacea for reacting to economic, client or competitive pressures. It should be one option considered as part of a carefully thought through vision and strategy and more particularly, the implementation of that (graphic adapted from FT graphic)

In the recent WSJ article “Stark choice for lawyers – firms must merge or die“  author Jennifer Smith reasons that due to client and competitive pressures law firms have a ‘stark choice:  to ‘merge or die’. As a result, she says, there has been a ‘flurry’ of merger deals. The author’s conclusions are hard to reconcile… Continue Reading

Family Law practice – can it be leveraged and geographically distributed?

Posted in Australasia, Business Models, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management
A Family Law practice, traditionally regarded as requiring face-time from partners, can be leveraged - if you have the right calibre people and excellent support systems

I had always assumed a practice area like family law, by its nature, required direct partner intervention at every level – particularly ‘face-time’. It was also a practice that could not be commoditised. Nor could it be spread geographically. Also, unlike some other practice areas, there didn’t seem to be scope for a para-legal to… Continue Reading

Large law firms perform well but feel the heat

Posted in Australasia, Leadership, Legal Profession, Uncategorized
Frog in pot FLAT

Despite a period of patchy M&A work, scratchy demanding clients and less ‘sticky’ partners, Australia’s ten largest law firms (Big Law Australia: BLA) have recently reported record gross fees, high equity partner profits coupled with a bullish view of their future world (Alex Boxsell and Samantha Bowers reporting in AFR 16 September 2011). However, they are… Continue Reading

Australian law firm offers senior employees opportunity to own shares

Posted in Australasia, Business Models, Culture
Wood slices v2

Employees own shares in this dynamic 105 year old Australian law firm M+K Lawyers, headed up by National Managing Director Damian Paul. M+K has embarked on a remarkable growth strategy around a unique business model and culture. Damian agreed to answer some questions: Sean: Your business model is unique and was the first of its kind… Continue Reading