Legal Futures has gained exclusive access to what is believed to be the transcript of a secret meeting held recently between Lord Chancellor Michael Gove and a delegation from the Bar Council.
Who would have thought that something as inoffensive as ADR could cause such a rumpus? But the impact on the profession of the EU Directive on Consumer ADR has done just that. It means that, from today, every lawyer is obliged to point clients in the direction of an ADR provider should both of them wish to resolve a complaint that way, although the client still has the option of referring their complaint to the Legal Ombudsman
It has been 21 years since solicitors first acquired rights of audience in the higher courts but it has only been in the last decade or so that they began to seriously consider the advantages of keeping advocacy in-house. Many firms have created their own advocacy units consisting of solicitor-advocates and barristers, the latter realising that they had a better source of work as an in-house advocate within a firm of solicitors rather than awaiting ever-reducing numbers of instructions coming into chambers.
‘Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do’ is a phrase which has been widely adopted in Allianz, but how many organisations actually live and breathe this in their values? Doing the right thing for the customer should be embedded in the DNA of any organisation, especially those in the service industry, which like it or not includes law firms and insurers.
We are sometimes asked by people looking to acquire a law firm target if there is a silver bullet that will ensure a successful acquisition, given that most acquisitions fail to deliver the full benefits sought by the acquirer. The honest answer would have to be ‘get lucky’, because there is undoubtedly an element of fortune involved in identifying the right target, negotiating the right deal, paying the right price and delivering the right performance.
Within the next five years the world’s largest law firm won’t have any lawyers. Here’s why: Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba/Amazon, the most valuable/largest retailers, have no shops. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.
As you work through the disaggregation process, parcelling out pieces of a case or lawsuit left and right, you should come back to a key question: what is the lawyer’s role? Whether the disaggregating entity is a law firm or law department, you must ask what that entity – and more specifically, the lawyers at that entity – should not send out and why.
Stories about law and money are as common as corned beef and cabbage on St Patrick’s Day. They usually chronicle large law firm acquisitions, peripatetic laterals, or practice groups migrating to a firm with a higher profit-per-partner. Recent events involving a US legal service provider, a Chinese law firm, and a UK firm confirm that the law and money story is developing new plot lines emblematic of changes in the global legal services landscape.
It’s possible that you have just come to realise a cold hard truth. You, like many solo through mid-sized law firms before you, run a business. And that business has competition. With over 130,000 lawyers registered in the UK, how can you stand out from your competition (sorry, fellow practitioners) to garner clients, referrals and grow your practice? Develop your brand.
Quindell and (the previously unimpeachable) Slater & Gordon are fast becoming shorthand for the anticipated failure of the alternative business structure (ABS) experiment. A blog in Canada’s Financial Post this week suggested that they have doomed the possibility of ABSs being introduced there. So here’s my question. Why?