Professional service firms are facing new challenges driven by the downturn in the economy. Demanding clients require value for money, and so businesses must combine providing top quality service with prudent use of their resources. Those firms who are reluctant or slow to change may be left behind.
Law firms in particular have some unique challenges going into 2012. The need to grow new clients whilst retaining existing relationships means a need to be more aware of the wider challenges faced by their clients - and whilst loyalty was once the 'norm', these days it has to be earned. Partners will already be aware of the challenges facing their own businesses, although it is often easier to focus on client matters than business affairs. The advent of the Legal Services Act, and the number of ABS structures being approved from early 2012 means that leaders of law firms need to be more focused on the external environment.
Dealing with the strategic, operational and tactical minutiae is of less interest to many, and has less focus than is often needed. Structure, decision-making, management and leadership issues all impact directly on the success - or otherwise - of law firms in normal circumstances. These are not normal circumstances, meaning even more emphasis must be paid to these matters.
We have direct experience of managing law firms. Whether your issues are around profitability, low utilisation of fee-earning time, low partner profit or poor partner performance, we've been there. We've helped law firms gain ISO9001, and are Law Society approved Lexcel consultants.
Some examples of the work we've done includes:
• Changing the quality of delivery for a global consulting firm
• Turning a law firm around