24 November 2015 - LexisNexis Acquires Premier Legal Analytics Provider Lex Machina
20 November 2015 - The First Online-Only Dispute Resolution Tribunal
10 November 2015 - Future of the Professions - When Will the Robots Take Over?
16 October 2015 - New Report on Partner Compensation Systems
By using more objective than subjective methods when making compensation decisions, law firms can largely address partner dissatisfaction without simply distributing more cash, a recent Aderant report reveals. Concluding a six month research project, the legal software company Aderant released a new white paper today titled “Your Partner Compensation System Can Be Better: Here’s How,” which examines the most common remuneration challenges faced by law firms.
Determining the best compensation strategy for partner recognition and motivation has become a debate among law firms worldwide. Early in 2015, Aderant embarked on a research study on the topic, involving a review of industry studies, interviews with industry experts and five Aderant Leaders in Law events held around the U.S. attended by managing partners and senior leaders at more than 50 top U.S. law firms.
For the research project, Aderant focused on the following key questions:
• How are law firms currently structuring their partner compensation systems?
• Which models are the most widely used, and why?
• What are some of the primary challenges firms face in determining partner compensation?
• Which measurements are firms using to determine remuneration?
The white paper released today reports on Aderant’s research, which revealed dramatically different approaches to partner compensation in North America versus Europe. Confirming findings in prior industry studies, Aderant determined that a growing number of equity partners are not satisfied with their firm’s compensation system and would like to see changes made. Interestingly, this partner dissatisfaction seems to be true even if the types of partner compensation systems in question are vastly different.
Aderant also concluded that compensation plans based on objective analytical data appear to be best practice among top firms. Firms that use actionable data metrics as part of their model are able to provide partners with clear and accurate explanations for their decisions. In the midst of the current trends of high-level lateral poaching, dissatisfied partners will likely start evaluating their options, and may end up joining the growing wave of lateral defections. By evaluating partner performance using clear metrics, Aderant determined firms can increase transparency and abate suspicions that the compensation process is arbitrary or unfair.
“Compensation is a difficult business issue regardless of the company or level of employee,” commented Ian Oxman, VP of Marketing. “For law firms, partner compensation becomes a strategic issue as it can drive retention, recruitment and ultimately revenue. For long term growth, firms need to get partner compensation right.”
17 September 2015 - Online Legal Services Innovation Beyond North America, UK and Australia
13 August 2015 - [USA] What it Takes to Grow a Law Firm From 4 to 745 Lawyers
Larry Sonsini transformed a “small town” firm where he was the first formal Associate into the famed Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Full article at Forbes.
Some notable excerpts:
.. there’s no one ... that represents the [individual] entrepreneur all the way up to the multi-billion dollar global enterprise with our model and focus. That is also the hard part of the business model.
I try to make every client feel that they’re my only client.
Next year will be my 50th year practicing law, and I’m still working 24/7. I mean, I’m full time, and doing different things, and still growing, and taking on more.
The big issue, the big challenge, is could you in 50 years take a firm from 4 attorneys to over 700 attorneys with consistent performance? To do that you need to have a very strong governance system. And my biggest contribution to the firm is that I constantly have my hands on the reins of the governance of the firm.
So there’s a lot of decentralized power within practice disciplines. But the one common thread is the reporting to, and accountability of, the basic culture system and branding that we have. It’s a balance between individual autonomy and practice and management accountability, and it has taken time to work that out. I think it’s probably the biggest contribution I have made to the firm, internally, as I spend a lot of time thinking about that.
On lateral hires: “I don’t care about your book of business. We are not buying a book. That’s irrelevant, because if you’re the right person for us, the clients will follow.” Many law firms do it differently: They buy books — “I’m going to hire this guy because he has a $10 million practice. And we need $10 more million dollars of revenue.” That’s dangerous.
I think that the role of the law firm, particularly in this country, will continue to be critically important because the world is becoming more complex.
21 July 2015 - Winning Business, Getting Ahead - With Martini
17 July 2015 - Law Firm Network Wins Award for Marketing Video
Lex Mundi is a leading network of independent law firms across more than 100 countries. It recently received a “Bronze Telly Award” for its new brand video at the 35th International Telly Competition. Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier competition honoring non-broadcast programming.
The Lex Mundi brand video showcases the global reach of Lex Mundi member firms and features a number of client success stories that demonstrate how Lex Mundi member firms work together to seamlessly coordinate cross-border matters for clients.
The brand videos were developed in-house and produced by Innovision Communications.
18 June 2015 - [USA] Outspoken Commentator on Gender Imbalance in BigLaw
11 June 2015 - [USA] Summit on Innovation in Legal Services
22 May 2015 - Knowledge Management is Dead Says Director of Knowledge at Global Firm
David Halliwell, Director of Knowledge, Risk and Legal Services at Pinsent Masons:
The knowledge management era in law firms is finally over
Pure knowledge management has been replaced by a discipline of continuous improvement that covers people, process and platform.
Some expressed the view that, in law firms, it's better if lawyers get trained as project managers. I disagree: the best PMs I have worked with are expert (if not master) project managers. They are subject matter agnostic, but collaborate with the specialists to deliver. Law firms have plenty of lawyers to give the legal spin – get in the PM experts and use their skills.
7 May 2015 - Give Your Clients the Tools to Raise Funds for Their Legal Matter
17 April 2015 - Efficiency Trumps Hourly Rate
Lawyers can charge premium hourly rates if their clients have confidence that the work will be done efficiently. An important element to this is the use of technology. In a newly released video of a panel of heavyweight UK General Counsel, this was one of many points made, giving an insight into the current thinking of GC clients.
The GCs in the video made further points to the law firm audience:
When pitching your services, demonstrate the technology that your firm uses
Diversity does matter and why
Relevance of project management and consistency of service
"Advice on a page"
Use of contractors
In-house lawyers want to learn about technology from their law firms!
11 April 2015 [Canada] - Online Beauty and Law Bar
25 March 2015 - Herbert Smith Freehills Encouraging More Lawyers to Work From Home
Depiction of a HSF work location
In a trial, a selected number of partners and fee-earners at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) have been invited to work from home up to one day per week for a period of three months. The results of the trial will be used for the implementation of home working across HSF offices globally.
Since 2012 HSF has had flexible working arrangements in the firm. Flexible working arrangements will now become even more flexible incorporating the ability to work from home.
HSF describes these initiatives as embedding 'agile working' within the firm's working culture.
Ian Cox, Managing Partner for the UK and US, comments:
"Since 2012 working in global teams across challenging time zone differences has been a real catalyst for change within the firm. Greater flexibility has resulted in improved productivity and efficiencies that clients have already benefitted from, as well as improved work/life balance for those within our business services teams.
"A number of partners and lawyers also work from home in similar ways, and feedback from their experiences is positive. We now want to pursue this in a structured way to encourage more widespread adoption of home working across our fee-earning groups, so that we can continue to attract and retain the best people."
19 March 2015 - UK Flexible Lawyer Staffing Service Growing Strongly
12 March 2015 [USA] - Why is There a Demand for LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is promoting its inexpensive legal plans - for businesses, starting at $23.99 per month:
Have a legal plan attorney review your business contracts and other legal documents
Get personalized attorney help at a rate even the smallest business owner can afford
Talk to an attorney on an unlimited number of new legal matters for one low monthly fee. No hourly fees and no surprises.
Protect you and your business from expensive errors and lawsuits
A couple of years ago, Mark Britton, founder of Avvo, explained why there is a demand for LegalZoom and how their marketing works.
20 February 2015 [USA] - Lawyer Matching Service for Consumers and Small Business - New Advertisement
This 30 seconds production covers incidents involving motor vehicle accidents, personal injury (from both the plaintiff and defendant's perspective), product liability, small business disputes and divorce.
The prospective clients come from a wide cross section of ethnic and socio-economic groups. The main dialogue is a clever one-word mantra that follows each incident.
17 February 2015 [UK] - Online Courts are a Realistic Prospect
Click Below to Watch Video
Read article at The Independent by clicking image below
6 February 2015 - Knowledge in a Law Firm Packaged into a Subscription Product
28 January 2015 [UK] - UK Law Society Launches E-Conveyancing Platform
The Law Society of England & Wales has launched an online conveyancing portal in a joint venture with IT company Mastek. There are unofficial and unconfirmed reports that the Law Society has invested £5 million and that it has a 60% stake in the joint venture. The name of the portal is Veyo. See videos below.
In separate news, concerning the UK property industry, there is a serious push by real estate agents to dominate the market for online property listings.
7 January 2015 [UK] - UK Law Firm in Bid to Deploy Artificial Intelligence
Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Liverpool designed to leverage the University’s Artificial Intelligence expertise in the legal market.
Alongside recently announced initiatives, the KTP enables Riverview Law to apply a range of leading-edge computer science expertise in areas as diverse as Artificial Intelligence (AI), text processing, network analysis, computational argumentation and data mining. A primary objective of this project is to automate some of the cognitive abilities of knowledge workers to provide organisations with intelligent decision support tools.
This announcement follows on from the recent launch of ‘Riverview Law In-house’, which includes a range of software modules that help In-house legal teams in large organisations manage matters, evolve their operating model and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. It also follows confirmation that Riverview Law is setting-up a separate technology business to exploit the software that it has built and the IP that it has and is creating.
Dr Katie Atkinson, Reader in the Agent Applications, Research, and Technology (Agent ART) Group of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, says: “We are delighted to be working with such an innovative company as Riverview Law. From our first meeting we were struck by the commitment its team has to the application of technology, not only in its own business but also in the way it delivers services to its global customers. Meetings with those customers and the wider Riverview Law team simply confirmed our desire to work with them and show how we can commercialise our research.” Katie is also Program Chair for the 2015 ICAIL conference of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law.
Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law said: “Over the last 18 months, as we developed our thinking in the AI and expert systems field, we were delighted to find such relevant world-class expertise on our doorstep – North-West England really is becoming the centre of the legal universe! This is another big step in the evolution and growth of Riverview Law. We are very focused on providing expert systems and tools that support knowledge work and the way AI and such systems can help our teams and our customers make quicker and better decisions.”