Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices

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Lest any of us get too comfortable in our swivel chairs, a new report from Michael B. Rynowecer, president of the BTI Consulting Group, indicates that in 2018 – despite spending more on outside legal counsel than ever before – clients are using fewer outside firms than ever. In a September issue of The Mad Clientist –the blog of BTI — Rynowecer reported that his company’s survey of more than 350 law-firm clients showed that “22%…
U.S. law-firm mergers to the end of the third quarter of 2018 reached levels unseen in the first three quarters of any year for more than a decade, according to an article published last week at law.com. The number of mergers recorded by Fairfax Associates between January 1 and the end of September of this year stood at 56, up six from the same period in 2017. Twenty of them were completed in the third…
For those who may be apprehensive about so much as clicking on a post relating to artificial intelligence (AI) as it applies to legal practice, I highly recommend a recent article in The Artificial Lawyer by Product Manager David Kleiman of Bloomberg Law. Kleiman points out that anyone who has ever used Google has already entered the world of AI, and that customized AI is the next logical step in the evolution of legal practice. “AI can…
A month ago we reported on the expansion of EY into the legal field through its acquisition of the U.K.’s Riverview Law. Now we learn that PwC U.K. has joined forces with immigration law specialists Fragomen of New York City – giving PwC “a major foothold in the U.S. market,” according to a report in The American Lawyer. Fragomen has offices in 16 major U.S. cities and 25 offices outside the U.S., while PwC offers…
In an interesting fusion of technology and food, a company called eatNgage is offering users the opportunity to participate in virtual lunch meetings with groups of staff, clients, colleagues or others. The rationale? People are more likely to look forward to, and show up for, a meeting that involves a meal than one that takes place during traditional working hours. eatNgage reports that to date, those who have used their service have an average of…
Following the acquisition of Riverview Law by EY, a new entity named EY Riverview will expand the accountancy firm’s legal-services reach into the global marketplace. Riverview Law’s growth could lead to an increase in staff from its current 120 to as many as 3,000, to be located at offices around the world. In case you missed this remarkable announcement: Riverview Law is a UK firm widely recognized for its innovative approach to legal practice, including…
Two recent, related articles announce the details of a $21m investment by growth equity investor Highland Europe in INCOPRO, a leading machine-learning brand and intellectual property protection business that was co-founded by the UK law firm Wiggin. INCOPRO will use the investment for “the development of its Talisman online brand protection technology to help businesses safeguard their brands from counterfeit and piracy threats online” and to expand its operations in China, the US and Europe.…
  In an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “The Industrial Era Ended, and So Will the Digital One,” Greg Satell – innovation writer, speaker and author of Mapping Innovation (McGraw-Hill, 2017) – casts an eye over the history of technologies like electricity that have, in their time, taken the world by storm and transformed the human environment. “Every technology follows a similar path of discovery, engineering, and transformation,” Satell says. However, he points…
I commend The Young Lawyer Editorial Board at The American Lawyer for their powerful piece on the debilitating and even life-threatening risks of working in the legal profession – a profession that, they point out, “[tops] the league tables for loneliness, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, stress and suicide.” Although they acknowledge that mental health problems can present at any age, of particular relevance to the group that wrote the editorial: “Data suggests that lawyers in…
In an article in Above the Law, technology consultants David Perla and Sanjay Kamlani warn lawyers of the perils of learning about blockchain “on the fly.” One lawyer they work with knew nothing about the technology until his client was charged with an SEC violation for selling equity in his company on a public cryptocurrency exchange. The lawyer called Kamlani in a panic. “If you’re a lawyer,” they write, “and you think you don’t need…