Do Litigation Team Members Have Access to the Information They Need?

The fourth in a series of articles about how to reduce litigation costs while getting better results. The following is adapted from Chapter II.C of Bensen & Myers on Litigation Management . The single biggest impediment to an efficient, cost effective litigation is the poor management of information...

LexisNexis Tips Series: Mastering the Basics of Alternative Fee Arrangements

Rising client demand for alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) has forced an increasing number of law firms to move away from the hourly billing model. In many respects, firms are implementing AFAs in rather entrepreneurial fashion without benefit of proper planning and controls, says Norm Mullock of LexisNexis...

Is Discovery Being Managed Properly? Document Collection

The sixth in a series of articles about how to reduce litigation costs while getting better results. The following is adapted from Chapter III.B.2 of Bensen & Myers on Litigation Management . Outside of trial, discovery is usually, indeed almost invariably, the most expensive part of a litigation...

Client Service As a Business Development Strategy

Doing Good & Building Your Practice Big Time Creating and fostering excellent relationships is the key to becoming a rainmaker. Providing existing clients with extraordinary service is every attorney's and law firms' ticket for prosperity. Client Service by the Numbers Providing...

Family firms in emerging markets – a perspective from the Middle East

The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania has recently published a very interesting article " Family Firms in the Middle East: The New Rules of Engagement." A significant number of Walker Clark clients are "family" law firms in emerging legal markets. We have...

Fear of Facebook? You decide.

"Should I be on Facebook?" That is the first question lawyers often ask me these days. Followed by: "Should I trust Facebook?" and "Is Facebook really worth my time for business development?" My answer is an enthusiastic YES! but..... .....only in the hands of a conscientious...

Fear of Facebook: Part II: How to use Facebook privacy settings

Facebook estimates that only 20% of its members take advantage of the privacy features. As a business professional using Facebook , privacy settings allow you to manage your network so you can speak discreetly to certain Friends, like co-workers or family members, as opposed to other "Friends"...

Fear of Facebook Part III: Fan Pages for Law Firms?

"There's a lot of business done in country clubs, but you'll never see a company open a booth in the club's dining room. Instead, individual business people network quietly there, blending into the scene and using the social atmosphere to their advantage. That's how I feel about...

A Radical Future For The Legal Industry?

Rory Webber, Martindale-Hubbell Connected's Marketing & Community Development Manager interviews legal journalist and MH Connected member, Richard Parnham. In today's difficult economy, many law firms are focusing on how to survive over the next few months. But good times will - hopefully...

A Radical Future For The Legal Industry?

Rory Webber, Martindale-Hubbell Connected's Marketing & Community Development Manager interviews legal journalist and MH Connected member, Richard Parnham. In today's difficult economy, many law firms are focusing on how to survive over the next few months. But good times will - hopefully...

Will the Future Associate be a Contract Employee?

The future of the legal profession is full of uncertainty. Will the old habits return as they did after previous recessions, or will these changes be permanent? No one knows for sure, but there are some possibilities and trends to take notice of. Cost Cutting: First of all, corporations have become...

Three myths about client surveys

Why don't more law firms conduct client surveys? Our firm has been researching that issue continuously for the past five years, through surveys (of course!) and also hundreds of informal discussions with law firm managers and marketing directors. Some law firms are simply afraid to ask for...

Planning for “The Third Depression”

Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman has a very important column in today's New York Times . His title "The Third Depression," along with the thoughtful analysis that he presents, communicate a clear warning to law firms that depend heavily on clients in the United States and Europe. His...

The top ten ways for lawyers to increase client satisfaction

In the current economy, other lawyers will be coming after your clients. Every lawyer would therefore be well advised to increase client satisfaction and protect the relationships that ultimately pay your salary, bonus, and rent. You can't make clients too happy. Review these best practices from...

Case study of a law firm failure… and its aftermath

The final demise of the British firm Halliwells, reported last week in the on-line edition of The Lawyer , is a good case study in the financial failure of a law firm. The Lawyer summarized the factors that led to Halliwells' failure earlier this month . The failure and breakup of Halliwells is...

'Do you come here often?'

Sometimes finding the right strategic partner is like looking for a new romance in a bar. The key to success is finding points of affinity upon which to build a relationship, whether for the rest of the evening or for a lifetime. This is a second of a series of posts about common mistakes law firms...

Client interviews: do-it-yourself or get outside help?

I participated earlier today in a discussion group on LinkedIn about client surveys. This posting provides a few additional comments and observations that would have made my comment on LinkedIn too long. The question concerned whether a law firm should do its own client satisfaction interviews...

When Stealing is Good

(Hang on, we'll get to the application of this principle to Legal Project Management in a while.) To paraphrase Gordon Gecko, stealing, for want of a better word, is good... in baseball. Or so I've been trying to teach my son. "But what if I get thrown out?" he asks. ...

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...

Looking for a best friend

"Best friend" strategies really do work for law firms, but they require thorough research, a solid business case, and realistic expectations. Going global has become a two-way journey. Since the late 1990s, firms in mature legal markets in Europe and North America have looked...

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...

How not to network

I returned from a working vacation (mostly working) to find a discussion thread on one of the social networks started by a lawyer looking to build a network with lawyers in other countries. It is not surprising that a lot of hands, mostly from solo practitioners and lawyers in small firms, have been...

A textbook example of international expansion

Allen & Overy's opening of its new office in Washington, D.C., announced today at legalweek.com demonstrates the smart way to plan and execute an international expansion strategy: Go only where you need to go, but go there with the best. The London-based global firm will build its Washington...

The Tao Of Law Firm Strategy

Differentiation is getting harder for law firms. We all know that. Clients constantly state that they want their lawyers to have deeper knowledge of their business and environment. As the market changes, more and more firms are re-examining their business model and questioning how they are...

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...