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SJ Berwin name poised to vanish as King & Wood merger vote looms | News | The Lawyer

SJ Berwin is gearing up for a vote on a global merger with Asia-Pacific firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) that would see the UK outfit’s name disappear.


Via Sally Calverley
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

There's little question about who the junior partner is in the acquisition - not merger. The question is whether the senior partners will really get what they seem to expect.

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Sally Calverley's curator insight, May 24, 2013 1:34 AM
SJ Berwin's troubled financial situation has perhaps led to its willingness to be subsumed by the Asia Pacific giant. However, the warning sounds can be found deep in this article: the Australian big boys of Mallesons will want a high end/high profile tie up that gives them an improved international brand - see the Ashurst, Herbert Smith and Norton Rose tie ups. Does SJ Berwin really pass muster on this scale?
Law firm management
Law firms face unprecedented change. Increasing regulation; greater competition; and more demanding clients.
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A More Mindful Workforce

A More Mindful Workforce | Law firm management | Scoop.it

I find By Daniel Goleman Today's executives operate in an atmosphere of distraction more intense than ever. HR can help keep these workers focused, but in order to see solutions, they need to first analyze the problems.

John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Ever found it difficult to focus your mind on the work at hand. Less procrastination (the art of finding less challening things to do) and more 'daydreaming, perhaps.

 

Valuable tips including 'mind-gyms' from guru Daniel Goleman help.

 

Knowledge workers, such as those in professional services firms (yep, lawyers, accountants, attorneys) are susceptible to this, which costs the firm money, and clients  and matters to get less attention than they deserve.

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Law Management and Marketing Newsletter - March 2014 Issue 72

Law Management and Marketing Newsletter - March 2014     Issue 72 | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Better Marketing and Management Help for LawyersRelationships, Relationships, Relationships.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Joe Reevy seems to have his finger on the pulse of marketing for law firms - and his newsletters showcase a number of different aspects of law firm practice management.

 

It's a recommended read from us. Look here, and if you like it, sign up.

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Benchmark test for charging

Benchmark test for charging | Law firm management | Scoop.it
A recent SDT case underlined the importance of ensuring charges are not confusing or opaque.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Pricing transparency is increasingly common, and although this matter is 'old hat', the principles are right - and although there remains a need to be OFR compliant, this is as much about ethical behaviour. Tell the client; be honest; keep it simple.

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Merger rush presents new risks, says SRA report - Law Gazette

Merger rush presents new risks, says SRA report - Law Gazette | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Legal Futures
Merger rush presents new risks, says SRA report
Law Gazette
The SRA said it does not seek to encourage or inhibit market consolidation but will step in to ensure firms are managing risks.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

As with any merger, be sure you're doing it for the right reasons, and be sure you have a merger and integration process in place, and managed.

 

The biggest concern is that some see merger as a strategy; it is a delivery mechanism to a strategy is all. My fear is that too many law firms who see a difficult future - or even present - see a merger as a silver bullet. It can be. Rarely, though...

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How to have a Successful Retreat - Thoughtful Legal Management

How to have a Successful Retreat - Thoughtful Legal Management | Law firm management | Scoop.it

The objective will determine who should attend all or at least part of the retreat: partners only, all lawyers, administrative managers, support staff? In any event, be certain that all your firm leaders attend.

John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Partnership retreats - or 'offsites' as they're more commonly known in the UK - are a great way of discussing strategically important matters, and to improve, foster or cement cultural changes at senior level.

 

To get the best value, they need good organisation. This article gives some insights into what should and should not be considered. Preferably before you plan your next one...

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LPM magazine: February 2014, issue 1 | Legal Support Network

LPM magazine: February 2014, issue 1 | Legal Support Network | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Beginnings...Great challenges lie ahead for the legal market – join us for the first issue of LPM magazine and find out how those challenges can turn into opportunity for the most innovative and agile of SME law firms.  (Check out the digital copy...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

A great new magazine, aimed specifically at the smaller firm market - with zippy views and insightful articles. If you don't yet subscribe - you should!

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Tackle Conflicts with Conversation

Tackle Conflicts with Conversation | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Effective leaders don't avoid the tough stuff.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Many law firm leaders practice much of this stuff. That is, they avoid conflict, or meet it aggressively.

 

There is often a better way. This article highlights some: my own blog (http://blog.occm.co.uk/conflict-in-your-business) outlines others.

 

There is one shared theme and one shared value: you must deal with conflict before it becomes destructive; and you must honour all those involved. Their view is, to them, as important as yours is to you.

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Benefits of Using a Coach

Benefits of Using a Coach | Law firm management | Scoop.it

Professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence. And, the list does not end there. Those who undertake coaching also can expect appreciable improvement in productivity, satisfaction with life and work, and the attainment of relevant goals

John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Stilll wondering if coaching will make any difference to you?

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Leadership Is About Emotion

Make a list of the 5 leaders you most admire. They can be from business, social media, politics, technology, the sciences, any field. Now ask yourself why you admire them.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

...and then reflect on how your staff look up to the Partners and Managers in your firm and practice, and if your leaders can honestly say they are admired...

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'Substantial' number of firms not revealing insurance status - SRA - Law Gazette

'Substantial' number of firms not revealing insurance status - SRA - Law Gazette | Law firm management | Scoop.it
'Substantial' number of firms not revealing insurance status - SRA
Law Gazette
A 'substantial' number of firms appear to have failed to declare their professional indemnity insurance position, the Solicitors Regulation Authority revealed today.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Here's a worry! It seems a number of firms with PCs and without PII continue to trade - so the SRA will conside actions. Hopefully, for clients and other firms' sakes, this kind of stuff gets sorted.

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141 firms must prepare to shut down, says SRA - Law Gazette

141 firms must prepare to shut down, says SRA - Law Gazette | Law firm management | Scoop.it
141 firms must prepare to shut down, says SRA Law Gazette On Friday, the SRA wrote to all firms within the extended policy period (EPP) to remind them of their obligations and responsibilities and offering help if they do want to wind down their...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Why the SRA needs to think more widely about how it manages the consequences of over 140 law firms being asked to close by the end of December 2013...

 

And, how its directors get their instrucitons wrong anyway.

 

Read on for more

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SRA eyes financial stability test for thousands of firms - Legal Futures

SRA eyes financial stability test for thousands of firms - Legal Futures | Law firm management | Scoop.it
SRA eyes financial stability test for thousands of firms Legal Futures The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is contemplating whether to contact thousands more law firms about their financial position after this summer's exercise involving...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

So the 'financial stability review' undertaken in the summer of 2013 was just the prelude for a deeper look, after all. Good - because we expect more concerns if our reading of the runes is correct.

 

Perhaps the SRA can also answer why firms such as Manches are able to continue trading when it appears they ought not to have been... One does wonder what trade creditors and financiers think of that...

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Why can’t lawyers manage businesses? » Wade Robinson

Why can’t lawyers manage businesses? » Wade Robinson | Law firm management | Scoop.it

It’s strange to note how very few public companies have been successfully run by lawyers as chief executives


Many law firms are appallingly run, judged by the standards of businesses of similar size. Many provide excellent service to their clients, and lots have good, well-meaning people at the top.


But they can’t function as other businesses do, making decisions, developing and implementing plans, evolving to meet the demands of the market, opening and closing activities, and implementing the will of the board throughout the organisation.

John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

It's a great question, which has prompted much debate on Linked In and other forums. Many lawyers are highly intelligent and intellectually gifted individuals, yetstruggle to manage themselves, their Partners and their firm.

 

This article by my colleague Chris Robinson, himself a corporate lawyer of many years' standing, explores why...

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Change Management: 4 Factors That Distinguish Successes From Failures

Change Management: 4 Factors That Distinguish Successes From Failures | Law firm management | Scoop.it
By Judith E. Glaser

Many MANAGEMENT GURUS, ACADEMICS and CEOs are writing on change, yet there is a difference between theory and actual change. If you are entrusted to make change happen, run a division, have a strategic HR role or are in the ...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

I like this insight into Change Leadership - and especially Solution 1: accepting resistance as a part of change, rather than managing it, with the connotation of conflict and 'winning'.

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Midsize Companies Must Prioritize Ruthlessly

Midsize Companies Must Prioritize Ruthlessly | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Time, not money, is their most important resource.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

This is so applicable to law and other professional service firms.

 

Lawyers absolutely focus on their clients and the quality of their work and advice. Good. They spend less time  managing or leading their business, and growing their people. Not good. Their age-old reason is a lack of time: although that's just an excuse for not managing their time. Ruthlessly. Promising too much, and finding it difficult to deliver.

 

This short article gives some pointers...

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Why Good Managers Are So Rare

Why Good Managers Are So Rare | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Gallup data shows they have a combination of hard-to-teach traits.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Great article - perhaps the only things I would add are: firstly, the need to have the appropriate culture to enable managers to manage; and secondly, have the right kind of support available at the right time. 

 

Law firms, in common with many partnerships in the professional services arena, have these challenges. Partners who hire, encourage and support their managers - both fee-earning and support staff managers - get huge benefit from being able to delegate to subject matter experts.

 

Or, in many cases, not... It takes a special effort not to intervene in a manager's role, yet the benefits are worth while. The main challenge is knowing when to get involved, and how - and this is where many law firms, partners and their managers fail. Getting that open dialogue right is crucially important.

 

Those who get it right benefit; those who don't spend so much time on and in management, and lose the edge in client work

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5 Essentials To Make Mentoring Worthwhile

5 Essentials To Make Mentoring Worthwhile | Law firm management | Scoop.it
A good mentor is hard to find. Before trusting someone with your personal and professional goals, consider these characteristics.

Via Jacqui Hogan
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Great insights in this article - there is a way of finding the right mentor, and it can be hard and frustrating. Yet much easier than trying to work with someone you don't get on with; and considerably easier than doing without.

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Jacqui Hogan's curator insight, February 24, 2:13 AM

The character of your mentor is almost as important as their knowledge and experience. But you do need both.

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6 ways to have more gravitas and increase your executive presence

6 ways to have more gravitas and increase your executive presence | Law firm management | Scoop.it
How to have more gravitas or ‘executive presence’
I met a senior associate in a city law firm recently at an event I ran for a Big 4 firm, on ‘how to have it all – partnership and a life’.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

To be a duck, you have to walk, quack and look like a duck.

 

To be a partner, you need to have the same qualities. Only they're called gravitas... A great article from the author of 'How to make Partner'

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LSB and Law Society on new collision course over SRA appointments - Legal Futures

LSB and Law Society on new collision course over SRA appointments - Legal Futures | Law firm management | Scoop.it
LSB and Law Society on new collision course over SRA appointments Legal Futures The Legal Services Board (LSB) is heading for another confrontation with the Law Society after proposing to take away its responsibility for appointing the chairman and...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

More internal infighting, whilst the profession continues to suffer the problems of poor business leadership and management, and financial challenges...

 

...or, a need to make sure that only those qualified are Board members. With the danger of 'political' appointments.

 

You decide

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Getting Value From Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Investments | Marketing Brain Fodder

Getting Value From Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Investments | Marketing Brain Fodder | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Getting Value From Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Investments http://t.co/zSAspG8ocz

Via Nicola Webb
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

All law firms - indeed, any professional service firm - should read this. Action, this day...

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Nicola Webb's curator insight, February 7, 1:49 AM

Simple, short and spot on. Focus on BD targeting and stick to the plan. Don't get sidelined by too much marcomms when what you want is new business - fast!

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SRA tells uninsured firms to "come clean" - LEGAL FUTURES

SRA tells uninsured firms to "come clean" - LEGAL FUTURES | Law firm management | Scoop.it

It is unclear how many of the 116 firms that were meant to have shut down last week for failing to secure professional indemnity insurance (PII) have actually done so, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) admitted yesterday.

John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

It's one way for a regulator to communicate with its constituents!

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Firms burying heads in sand over finances

Firms burying heads in sand over finances | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Only half of firms understood what is involved if they get into financial trouble.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

In our view and experience, fewer than half even understand how to tell that they are in financial trouble. Lawyers, as has been said before and will be again, are not always the businessmen they need to be in this more competitive and tight market.

 

It's not clear that the SDRA can help much, either. They can only know from the financial reports they get from firms; and from any breaches reported by the COLP or COFA - and in any event, the SRA is swamped by PII problems.

 

Professional management, whether by lawyers or trained managers, is key. How many law firms will act, at all or in time...?

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Manchester law firm calls in administrators

Manchester law firm calls in administrators | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Firm is latest in the north-west to run into trouble.
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Manchester continues to see fall-out from the financial sector difficulties which saw Cobbetts amongst others fail. This report carries a soft hint that bankers have had their part to play, although it's likely that banks are tightening their criteria...partly due to reports such as this.

 

Coupled with PII difficulties, it seems the legal sector continues to be troubling for lawyers...yet our experience is not so gloomy. Those without legacy issues, and with the ability to both define vision and direction, and deal with non-performers, have a bright future.

 

That's the place to focus...

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Half of partners "don't understand catastrophic personal consequences" of law ... - Legal Futures

Half of partners "don't understand catastrophic personal consequences" of law ... - Legal Futures | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Legal Futures
Half of partners "don't understand catastrophic personal consequences" of law ...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

So. You've reached the pinnacle of your legal career as a Partner in your law firm. Fantastic! Years of hard work and sacrifice have led you to this place.

 

Wait, though. The market and increasing competition all mean that making profits is harder than you thought possible. After all, being a good lawyer should mean success. Shoudln't it?

Sadly not. And this year, many lawyers are going to find out the personal consequences of  their law firm failure. Unless they do something about it first - like getting involved in its management!

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Why Your Law Firm Needs A Partner Succession Plan - Above the Law

Why Your Law Firm Needs A Partner Succession Plan - Above the Law | Law firm management | Scoop.it
Above the Law Why Your Law Firm Needs A Partner Succession Plan Above the Law Am Law 200 law firms have on average about 23.5 chairs, executive members, and senior partners whose 40-plus years of experience, client relationships, and leadership...
John Wade: Coach; consultant; mentor's insight:

Not wholly appropriate for many small and mid-size law firms - although there are some key messages which apply to all law firms regardless of size.

 

Succession Planning. How will you plan for your future when Partners retire - the looming end of the baby'bommers means it's an increasig challenge...

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