LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Time to Update Your Partnership Agreement? A Diagnostic Checklist

As my colleagues and I advise law firms on governance issues, such as managing the growth of the partnership, partner compensation, or capital requirements, we and our clients sometimes discover that it has been many years since the partnership agreement, partnership deed, by-laws, or other corporate...

Ten More Ways to Knit Up the Raveled Sleeve of a Spread-out Legal Department

If your legal team has offices strung out from Albania to Zimbabwe, you probably wish there were more cohesion, collegiality, and collective culture (See my post of Jan. 16, 2009: physically decentralized law departments with 13 references.). To the dozen techniques I have discussed in previous posts...

“People just like us”

A managing partner of a reputable and reasonably successful midsize law firm recently told me, "We look for partners who are just like us, who we know will fit in." This is not the first time that my colleagues and I have heard about this "unwritten trump card," as a senior partner...

MS. found in a law firm

There is a good article in the 7 May 2011 issue of The Economist, "A Less Gilded Future." Although I do not agree with a few minor points, it describes how easily a well-established law firm (in this case, the U.S. firm of Howrey, LLP) can go over the edge. The two issues that Howrey's...

Building consensus in compensation: the Addleshaws case study

Another well-intentioned and innovative reform to a law firm's partner compensation system has been aborted. The senior management team at one of the United Kingdom's better-managed law firms, Addleshaw Goddard , has been forced, by what appears to be unexpectedly strong opposition from...

Business plans for gigantic canoes

For several months now, I and some of my colleagues in the Public and Professional Interest Division of the International Bar Association have been reviewing the business plans of the PPID committees and other entities. These groups range from very small task forces and working groups of fewer than...

After the honeymoon

What happens when things don't work out after a merger as well as the partners had hoped? There are almost always some rough spots after any merger of two businesses. However, these can be become life-threatening for recently merged law firms, which, like most law firms, typically have lower...

Life after managing partner

The Lawyer reported this morning that Mark Walker, until recently the managing partner of Cleary Gottlieb in New York, has moved to Paris and into the world of finance as a senior advisor to the global sovereign advisory group at Lazard. One of the subtle flaws in many law firm governance schemes...

Leadership: actions and words

In September and October 2011, our firm conducted a worldwide survey about law firm leadership, as part of our ongoing support of the Law Firm Management Committee of the International Bar Association . 374 lawyers participated, more than half of whom are or have been managing partners of law firms...

The challenges of change in managing lawyer careers

Our firm is currently advising several law firms about improvements to their career management policies and procedures. In some legal markets this has become a very important strategic issue - not just one of internal human resources management. In order to make the improvements that are necessary...

Market leaders lead the market

When a group of law firm partners discusses significant changes in their respective firms, one of them will almost certainly say: "But no other firm in our market does this..." We have three responses that we ask our clients to consider: First, are you sure? We have frequently discovered...