lateral partner market

Has the lateral partner market peaked?

Many readers will be familiar with the concept of ‘peak oil’, the idea that world oil production, although currently at unprecedented levels, has in fact reached (or passed, by some calculations) its peak; there are no new major reserves to be found, and all the large fields are steadily running down.

The theory of ‘peak oil’ has had to be, but it set me wondering whether, from a recruiters’ point of view, the lateral partner market has in fact reached, and passed, its peak, both in terms of revenue and, possibly, activity too.

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Is there a magic bullet for legal services?

In my regular interviews with law firm partners and clients as part of my service, one of my favourite questions is: “in terms of the delivery of legal service, do you think there is a ‘magic bullet’, that is to say do you think there is a way of delivering legal services that isn’t currently being done?”

The answer is invariably – and I mean invariably – “no”.

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(Mexican) Wave of the future

The (Mexican) Wave of the future?

I’m all for shaking up the legal market and the way lawyers do business, don’t get me wrong. Many solicitors have for too long benefited from a protected market which allows them to eschew innovation and create what are effectively skill- or reputation-based cartels which support eye-watering charging mechanisms.

I remain, however, unconvinced that private equity is a viable and sustainable solution to the problem as regards commercial private practice.

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The future: a more ‘intimate’ place…?

‘Client intimacy’ is – I have to confess – a new expression for me, but it was very much one of the topics du jour at the latest Client Day held by the guys (and gals) at Møller PSFG in Cambridge on Wednesday, where yours truly was very fortunate to be delivering a session as well.

If you are in professional services and interested in leadership and development and you haven’t come across Møller PSFG, then you very much need to.

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In Defence of the Billable Hour

Developing my credentials (or at least my notoriety) as someone who tries to challenge established thinking on matters of interest to the legal profession, I have decided to undertake the publication of an occasional series of essays – I’m calling them ‘Monographs’ – on topics I think might be of interest to readers and visitors to my site.

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Irwin Mitchell sharpens its blades

Sheffield-based national firm Irwin Mitchell has become the first big firm to seriously up the ante on outside investors into law – permitted by the Legal Services Act as of October this year – with this week’s issue of The Lawyer declaring that it will “float, and take on the mid-tier” (’ll-float-and-take-on-the-mid-tier/1007714.article).

In fact the firm is currently weighing its options, ranging from IPO to some kind of private funding.

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Lateral partner hiring: the new Gold Rush

This week started with a mega-feature in The Lawyer on one of my favourite topics, partner lateral hiring, in this case talking about how US firms’ stronger financials will mean they can pick off the UK high-flyers with ease (’-stellar-city-financials-put-uk-high-fliers-in-hiring-line/1007673.article)

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Would you buy shares in a law firm

Would you buy shares in a law firm?

The prospect of a welter of flotations of multi-hundred million pound businesses already earning massive profits is already whetting the appetite of many a private equity house and bank in the City, ahead of the final liberalisation of the much talked-about Legal Services Act in October this year which will allow corporate investors in law firms for the very first time.

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Are they getting partner hiring right in Oz?

A very nice boost for my research on Partner Lateral Hiring (blogs, passim) from the leading Australian legal publication, LawyersWeekly this week.

I’ve had a lot of interest from the UK, as well as from the US and Europe, which has been quite heartening, but reinforces my earlier view that not much work has been done to date on the success of partner lateral hiring.

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