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Rigour and research on law firms

April 6th, 2013 |

This miscellany of posts is a reflection of the rigour and research that underpins the work with law firms of Beaton people and our international collaborators.

Based on our research, consulting and advisory work with law firms in many countries, our proprietary research with Beaton Benchmarks  and our critical review of the published work of others, these posts illustrate the depth and breadth of the skills we offer our clients in Australia, USA, UK, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

The range of issues canvassed illustrates the rich and challenging environment of legal services. We invite our readers to correspond with the authors. Perhaps some readers would like to offer rejoinders and commentary of your own?

Cost Consciousness – how law firms fail by Tristan Forrester explains that of all the client service attributes we measure in Beaton Benchmarks studies, Cost Consciousness is the one that has increased in importance the most since the 2008 downturn. Not the quantum of fees, which has shown no increase in relative importance, but Cost Consciousness, which clients describe as their advisors "spending our money as carefully as if it were their own". See here why Tristan's observations have profound importance for firms and their clients.

Inertia and ignorance: Boiling frogs and the Australian small law firm by George Beaton blogging in BRW argues Australia’s thousands of smaller law firms seem to be ignoring big threats. George believes the inertia and ignorance of the profession mean the entry of more private and public equity will herald the biggest changes ever seen among smaller law firms. Hear more his argument and the consequences he foresees.

The privileges of Magic Circle membership by Eric Chin observes that by virtue of their Magic Circle membership five law firms enjoy instant recognition and recall, perceptions of being leading advisers, opportunities to charge premium prices, and a lower cost of attracting quality clients and top talent. Eric asks whether there is an equivalent in other countries, especially the United States.

Decisions, Decisions ... by Steve Daitch is a deep review of how to make the “best” decisions in law firms and why these decisions trump being cautious, mostly right and slow to make a call. Steve is  Senior Strategy Consultant with Catapult Growth Partners, LLC  our exclusive collaborator in providing Beaton Benchmarks in the USA and Canada.

Can law firms adopt disruptive innovation? by George Beaton suggests it's time for all law societies to mobilise more than is currently the case, especially in smaller firms, must be engaged, informed and helped to equip themselves. A sense of urgency is needed.

LPO and Newton’s third law of motion by Marc Ewen, Senior Analyst with Beaton Capital, draws on Sir Isaac Newton's 1687 observation that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reactions to show how law firms are responding to so-called non-firm firms in the provision of legal services in the world of legal process outsourcing. This post raises important questions about benchmarking–how long is it before we will be including new names in the roster of 'firms' delivering services to corporations.

Australian law – do the first movers have it? by Warren Riddell takes an Australian perspective to show that law firms have to make a clear choice because the market is polarising into those that will have meaningful global reach and those that won’t. This major analysis of the globalisation of the Australian legal services market builds on Jarek Dobrjanski's provocative analysis 'An obituary for the term ‘Big 6’ law firms in Australia'. You can also read about or listen on Sky Business Law TV to Warren's views on how ABS is changing the face of legal services in the UK.

A tale of three law firms with lessons for all by George Beaton describes three innovative Australian law firms and shows there are lessons for firms delivering different work types.  

Readers' views
Beaton welcomes readers' views. With your permission we will publish your comments.

By George Beatonis a director of Beaton Capital and Beaton Research + Consulting. You can find George on Google+ at +George Beaton.

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