Welcome to The Dialogue

The Dialogue provides a forum for those invested in BigLaw firms to add their voices to the remaking conversation. We encourage lawyers and others with a stake in the profession: clients, partners, and leaders of BigLaw firms, NewLaw participants, academics, law students, analysts, commentators and others to join in. There are no right or wrong views, diversity and differences are crucial to imagining the future.

Readers are invited to contribute their posts (subject to curation)  and comments.

Please contact me at george.beaton@beatonglobal.com or call me +61 418 325 351.

If you wish to be anonymous in a Comment, please be assured your identity will not be revealed, but we will seek your permission to disclose your status, e.g. partner, and country.

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One step forward and two steps back

Today’s title is a line from the Don Henley song, “A Month of Sundays,” which laments the loss of small farms and businesses to “progress.” Lawyers tell me that business development sometimes feels like a constant struggle, with sustained forward motion being elusive. They take a productive BD step today, then do nothing for a few days or a few weeks. Their feeling is accurate.

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Classic: Why BigLaw firms go down the money hole

‘Why BigLaw firms go down the money hole’ was first published by Ed Reeser in 2015. It is re-posted on The Dialogue as a Classic because I have recently been made aware of two Australian law firms that are in difficulty, at least in part, for reasons related to Ed Reeser’s thesis, namely propping up profits per equity point is somehow viewed as a means of maintaining confidence in the firm.   

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Lost in translation: BigLaw’s communication (and trust) issues

Today celebrated BigLaw leader, chairman emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Stephen Poor contributes ‘Lost in translation: BigLaw’s communication (and trust) issues‘ to The Dialogue.  

We talk a lot about the change needed in pricing legal services. The reality, however, is that the impetus for change in pricing structures will come from the corporate buyers, not the BigLaw sellers, of legal services. In fact, law firm leaders have consistently acknowledged this in every Altman Weil survey for the past 5 years: 66% or more of firms offering services on an alternative fee arrangement (AFA) basis did so “in response to client demand,” rather than acting proactively out of a belief that new pricing models will create a competitive advantage.

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BigLaw is adopting elements of NewLaw to stay competitive

The latest edition of the CommBank Legal Market Pulse report in Australia reveals BigLaw is adopting elements of NewLaw to stay competitive. The report is based on a quantitative survey by Beaton Research + Consulting of CEOs, managing partners and other senior leaders in Australia. Forty law firms participated in the survey for during May 2017.

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Breakthrough at Linklaters: A Major Strategic Pivot Point

Breakthrough at Linklaters: A Major Strategic Pivot Point is an important contribution in that Pam Waldow and Doug Richardson summarise the facts and opine on the significance of Linklaters’ move away from measuring the performance of individuals. 

Historically, few law firms have actively embraced Franklin’s formula for survival and success.  They paved the road to profitability by aggregating the revenue-producing activity of individuals lawyers, each operating as a discrete profit center and each driven to leverage personal achievement to maximize income.

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How Counter Tax is fostering friendly NewLaw world domination

How Counter Tax is fostering friendly NewLaw world domination is a post with a difference. It’s based on the catchy story-telling style of Counter Tax Lawyers of Canada.

When Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold of Counter Tax Lawyers interviewed me back in February last year, I asked myself “Will this neat idea do any more than capture some attention?” Well, as the series and this episode–in which Peter and Natalie interview fellow Canadian, Peter Carayiannis, founder Conduit Law–show the tales are topical and well-told.

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Deloitte, KPMG & PwC all agree: Is law listening?

Back in October 2015, the inimitable Michael Mills, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Neota Logic, wrote this clever article LinkedIn: Deloitte, KPMG & PwC all agree: Is law listening? 

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