Managing Law Firm Transition

Thoughts on Leading High Consequence Change

Latest from Managing Law Firm Transition

The impact of COVID-19 on law firms has barely begun. When it comes to the flow of work, some firms are experiencing a measurable or even significant bump thanks to having the right practice focus at the right time: but for the most part, law firms have experienced some degree of decline in both work and collections. How firms have responded to the negative impact has been mixed. Some have found ways to hold the…
For some time, law firms have felt heightened competition from not just other law firms, but also from clients moving needs in-house and alternative service providers picking off peripheral services.  As reported by Bloomberg Law in Arizona First State to Allow Nonlawyer Co-Ownership of Law Firms, looming rule or legislative changes in a number of states may boost significantly ASPs ability to compete with traditional law firms, and not just on the margins. It…
In response to the pandemic many law firms reduced the pay of owners, associates and staff. Many of these moves were made specifically to avoid layoffs while managing the uncertainty associated with future cash flow. During the last six months firms have adapted to a new way of operating and the feared decline in revenues has been less than expected for many. As daily operating income begins to stabilize and performance appears more predictable, we’re…
Well run law firms annually set aside time to plan for year-end activities and decisions.  In addition to using institutional processes, systems and experience to wrap up the successful (hopefully) year, most firms use that time to plan for the coming year.  Like clockwork, important decisions for the firm’s present and future have often been decided in routine fashion. But 2020 and the looming 2021 are not like other years, and reliance on tried and…
Virtually every day, the news includes reports of additional law firm closures, layoffs, and compensation reductions. What is driving these decisions, and what does it mean for your firm? Without question, catching any developing problem early makes it easier and less traumatic to take appropriate action, increases confidence in management, and enhances the likelihood of achieving real stability. With early recognition of critical issues as the objective, here are seven early warning metrics. Smart leadership…
In the turmoil caused by Covid-19, many law firms have had to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.  News stories tell the sad tale of law firms being adversely impacted.  Some firms have closed, and unfortunately others will follow. With one firm’s demise comes opportunity for others.  Clearly, personnel leaving the firm in wind-down must find homes and for them, only the best is wished.  An equally dynamic opportunity exists for law firms surviving the pandemic.  For…
The headlines are beginning to paint a pretty clear picture: many law firms worldwide are taking more aggressive action in response to their COVID related economic challenges. As part of an effort to create a cash buffer to weather current or anticipated pressure brought about by the virus, firms are focusing on containing revenue loss while decreasing cash outflow. To decrease costs, firms are addressing three areas: Space, People General operating expenses Space For the…
Covid-19 has upended law firm normalcy.  What might have been perceived last March as a couple of month hiatus from business as usual has been extended with no end in sight.  With no known end date, it can be difficult to plan in ways previously thought routine. The current Covid-19 world for law firms can be felt in matters of employee health, reduced client demand, depleted inventory, declining revenues, and external pressures from banks, landlords…
I have previously referenced the excellent McKinsey report COVID-19: Implications for law firms. In a re-read of it this morning, a universal truth regarding client relationships struck me: the stronger firm communication with its clients, the less likely there will be a surprise in decreased work. During normal times a routine communication between the firm and its clients is helpful to both client retention and relationship growth. During times of turmoil, communication becomes even…
Virtually all law firms have had to adjust business practices to address the pandemic’s impact.  Whether working remotely, refocusing or changing firm economics, making personnel moves, or partnering with clients more, today’s challenges have fundamentally changed the way law firms operate.  For the law firms grappling with too many upheavals in their world, crisis looms. For most law firm leaders, the advent of crisis is a new experience.  Instead of making decisions that merely move…