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Bigger. Better. Both?

  • 19 July, 2016

    First NewLaw firm in New Zealand

    . Business models. Law. Strategy

    lexvoco is the first NewLaw firm in New Zealand, entering by crossing the Tasman. While this might not necessarily be regarded as noteworthy, the speed with which lexvoco is spreading is truly remarkable.

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  • 29 April, 2016

    More NewLaw M&A: Elevate acquires Legal OnRamp

    . Disruption. Law. Mergers & Acquisitions

    ‘Tis the season for NewLaw M&A as Elevate acquires Legal OnRamp. The union means Elevate, a leading legal services provider, will expand even more rapidly now that it has combined with the innovative legal technology of OnRamp.

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  • 11 April, 2016

    DLA Piper–LOD alliance in Australia will boost NewLaw

    . Other professional services

    No sooner had the the LOD–AdventBalance merger, described as “pointing to further NewLaw industry consolidation” been announced in February, than DLA Piper and LOD made major move in Australia to add to their UK operations.

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  • 15 March, 2016

    The third major NewLaw announcement in three months: Clients win

    . Law. Strategy

    Over night from Toronto comes the news of a joint venture between Deloitte and Conduit Law. This is the third major NewLaw announcement in three months of strategic global significance.

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  • 24 February, 2016

    Further NewLaw industry consolidation

    . Law. Strategy

    Today’s news of the Lawyers On Demand–AdventBalance merger  points to further NewLaw industry consolidation. This follows fast on the heels of the Cognition–Axiom deal in January I reported here.

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  • 15 January, 2016

    NewLaw industry is showing signs of consolidation

    . beatonlive. Law. Strategy

    It was breaking news about the NewLaw industry showing signs of consolidation. Here are some interesting aspects of the story so far.

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  • 20 April, 2015

    Why NewLaw in Asia should seek to define itself

    . Asia. Disruption. Law. Strategy

    NewLaw in Asia is an emerging phenomenon and one to watch closely. This post by John Grimley first appeared on Asia Law Portal and is re-published with John’s kind permission. In April of 2013, Richard Granat (@rgranat) asked: Is Axiom Law a Law Firm? in a blogpost which appeared on his widely-read eLawering Blog.  And Granat is well qualified […]

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  • 15 January, 2015

    Fresh thinking on the evolving BigLaw–NewLaw taxonomy

    . Law. Strategy

    January 22, 2015 revision. Based on public and private feedback from many sources, I have revised the title of this post by changing the notion of a ‘continuum’ to one of a ‘taxonomy’. No other changes have been made to the original post. As the conversation develops, I will add Comments to reflect the prevailing thinking where I […]

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  • 12 January, 2015

    Applying Clayton Christensen’s theories to BigLaw vs NewLaw

    . Law. Strategy

    Harvard’s Clayton Christensen introduced his theory of disruptive innovation in The Innovator’s Dilemma, published in 1997. While challenged earlier last year in an article in The New Yorker, Christensen’s work on the origins and consequences of disruptive innovation continues to be held as gospel in management thinking. In 2013 he applied his theory to the management […]

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  • 7 October, 2014

    First anniversary of the start of NewLaw

    . Law. Strategy

    Today, October 7, 2014, marks the first anniversary of the start of NewLaw as a recognised neologism. ‘NewLaw’ and #NewLaw are sweeping through the blogo- and Twitter-spheres, are appearing on conference agendas everywhere, and form the title of the fast-selling e-book, NewLaw New Rules. This post acknowledges the provenance of NewLaw, thanks the many contributors […]

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  • 11 April, 2014

    NewLaw down under

    . beatonbenchmarks. Law. LPO. Other professional services. Strategy

    “I come from a land down under Where beer does flow and men chunder Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover.“ Men at Work, Down Under, 1981 These lyrics from Men at Work’s hit single propelled the Australian act into international stardom in the 1980s. Since the […]

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  • 21 February, 2014

    NewLaw portents from ReInvent Law in New York

    . Law. LPO. Other professional services. Strategy

    Early in February two significant legal industry events made news among the 800+ delegates at a ReInvent Law conference; many read these as NewLaw portents.

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  • 28 January, 2014

    How relevant are NewLaw firms in Asia?

    . Asia. Law. Strategy

    It’s timely to ask how relevant the NewLaw business model is in Asia. To date the emergence and proliferation of NewLaw firms have been largely confined to developed economies. Will the trend come to Asia? Or is the better question when will the NewLaw trend come to Asia?

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  • 18 December, 2013

    Be one of the first to read NewLaw New Rules

    . Law. Strategy

    NewLaw New Rules – A conversation about the future of the legal services industry breaks new ground. NewLaw New Rules is a new e-book curated by Dr George Beaton drawing on 35 contributors, representing many of the biggest names in the global legal services industry.

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  • 12 December, 2013

    How to recognise a NewLaw firm

    . Law. Strategy

    In today’s rapidly changing legal landscape it is important to define and be able to recognise NewLaw firms and their many variations. Mark Harris, CEO and Co-founder of Axiom Law, said in a July 19, 2013 interview on Bloomberg Law “It’s a challenge to describe us when we’re creating a new category”. The ‘new category’ […]

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  • 18 October, 2013

    What Voltaire might have said about NewLaw

    . Law. Other professional services. Strategy

    “Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road” -Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique published in 1764. There are times when we at Beaton Capital wonder whether Voltaire might have said this about us based on our contributions to the debate […]

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  • 7 October, 2013

    The rise and rise of the NewLaw business model

    . Law. Strategy

    The rise and rise of the NewLaw business model is a sequel to Last days of the BigLaw business model. BigLaw is not about large law firms. Nor is NewLaw about new law firms. The issues are much deeper than the size or age of what are colloquially known as law firms. When The Lawyer […]

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  • 16 June, 2016

    Remaking Law Firms: Why & How is now on Amazon

    . beatonlive. Law. Strategy

    Remaking Law Firms: Why & How is now available on Amazon.

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  • 13 May, 2016

    Has the juice been squeezed from BigLaw’s business model?

    . Law

    Central to the profitability of the ‘BigLaw’ business model is how rainmaking equity partners, i.e. the owners, win work for the firm and enlist other fee-earners to do the bulk of this work. Since the 1950s, this model has been hugely successful, both in serving clients and making a great deal of money for owners. However, […]

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  • 19 April, 2016

    Now it’s Norton Rose Fulbright and LawPath

    . Digitisation. Disruption. Law

    Norton Rose Fulbright and LawPath today joined Cognition, Axiom, Conduit, Deloitte, LOD and DLA Piper in picking up the pace of corporate activity in the BigLaw–NewLaw space. 

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  • 16 April, 2016

    Are today’s young lawyers opting out of the Hunger Games?

    . Law

    Compared to 1991 it seems today’s young lawyers opting out of the Hunger Games. In that year Marc Galanter and Thomas Palay wrote Tournament of Lawyers positing that the success of the BigLaw business model depended in part on an incentivised ‘tournament’ for promotion. No more it seems.

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  • 21 February, 2016

    Remaking Law Firms is now available from the ABA online shop

    . Law

    We are very pleased to advise Remaking Law Firms is now available from the ABA online shop. 

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  • 1 January, 2016

    What law firms and taxis have in common

    . Disruption. Law. Strategy

    ‘What law firms and taxis have in common’ is my rhetorical way of capturing the relevance to BigLaw firms of a truly insightful article titled What is Disruptive Innovation? by Clayton Christensen and colleagues in Harvard Business Review, December 2015.

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  • 12 December, 2015

    Digital disruption in professional services delivery

    . Professional services. Technology

    A new book, 21 years of regulatory innovation through professional standards, marking the 21st anniversary of professional standards legislation in Australia has just been released by the Professional Standards Councils. I am honoured to have contributed the chapter on Digital disruption in professional services delivery.

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  • 6 December, 2015

    Resolving the prioritisation crisis in BigLaw firms

    . beatonlive. Law. Strategy

    In some ways I wish I had read Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption, Geoffrey Moore’s most recent book (2015) while researching the content for Remaking Law Firms (1).  On the other hand it’s pleasing to have come to much the same conclusions as Moore about the urgency in resolving the prioritisation crisis, in my case the […]

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  • 30 November, 2015

    BigLaw can emulate Private Equity to achieve greater growth

    . Law. Strategy

    The current destinies of the private equity and BigLaw industries have several similarities that are useful provide useful insights for the leadership of BigLaw firms in their efforts to find new areas of growth.

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  • 12 November, 2015

    Ecosystems – get wise to the new language of business strategy

    . Accounting. beatonlive. Consulting engineering. Disruption. Engineering. Law. Management consulting. Other professional services. Strategy

    Those of us brought up on value chain business models need to open our minds to major change. Value chain analysis was identified as core to formulating business strategy by Michael Porter in the 1980s. Now ecosystems thinking is replacing value chain doctrine. 

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  • 13 October, 2015

    Profit, delusion and the BigLaw obsession

    . Law. Strategy

    His K&L Gates provenance and the way our guest contributor began his recent article in Legal Business caught my eye. Tony Griffiths’ piece was titled “…on profit, delusion and how Big Law became obsessed with the wrong things”. With his permission, we quote Tony and reinvigorate debate on the dangerous obsession with law firm league tables.

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  • 22 August, 2015

    Legal Innovation Index Awards address by Dr George Beaton

    . Disruption. Law

    This post is a précis of an address at the Legal Innovation Index Awards by Dr George Beaton. Courtesy of the hospitality of LexisNexis® Pacific and Janders Dean, I spoke at the Legal Innovation Index Awards in Sydney on August 20, 2015. Over 100 people gathered to celebrate the winners from a very high quality, hotly contested field […]

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  • 20 August, 2015

    Lessons in client complaint handling for every professional services firm

    . beatonbenchmarks. Law. Professional services

    Beaton is delighted to re-publish ‘Loyalty moments and online dispute resolution – a lesson about complaints?’, the first post from Professor Richard Moorhead on our blog. We are all privileged to have this access to Richard’s insights into many facets of the legal and other professions contributed in an incisive and inimitable style. You are invited to welcome Richard and join […]

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  • 15 August, 2015

    10 reasons BigLaw managing partners are not sleeping very well

    . beatonlive. Brands. Disruption. Law. Strategy

    We have heard at least 10 reasons why BigLaw managing partners are not sleeping very well in recent one-on-one conversations and our beatonlive conferences. Some are deeply worried. Others are truly excited. Here’s a summary of why this dichotomy exists. 

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  • 1 June, 2015

    State of the MBB, Next Four and Big Four strategy consulting empires

    . Consulting. Management consulting. Mergers & Acquisitions. Strategy

    “Some theories of the business are so powerful that they last for a long time. But eventually every one becomes obsolete” Peter Drucker, The Theory of the Business, September 1994 In October 2013 Clayton Christensen, Dina Wang and Derek van Bever wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review in which they posited consulting is […]

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  • 11 May, 2015

    Will we see a $10 billion BigLaw firm?

    . Law. Strategy

    Will we see a $10 billion BigLaw firm? Is a $10 billion (yes, ten billion) BigLaw firm unthinkable. Is the very thought far-fetched? Perhaps not, as the following analysis suggests.

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  • 8 April, 2015

    Grow your firm by helping clients to switch to you

    . Accounting. Architecture. beatonbenchmarks. beatonlive. Consulting. Consulting engineering. Law. Management consulting. Strategy

    ‘Grow your firm by helping clients to switch to you’ may sound like a simple statement of obvious advice. It’s not because, as the research amongst clients of professional services firms summarised in this post shows, you need to know how to do this to maximise the probability of winning.

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  • 30 March, 2015

    One sure way to grow organically in a stagnant market

    . Accounting. Architecture. beatonlive. Consulting engineering. Law. Other professional services. Strategy

    Helping clients cross-buy is one sure way to grow organically in a stagnant market. Yet so few firms recognise the opportunity. The chart in this post provides empirical evidence that clients actually value using multiple service lines from a single firm. In other words, clients want to cross-buy. So all firms have to do to grow organically is […]

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  • 16 February, 2015

    Clash of the Titans: Big Four vs MBB vs BigLaw

    . Accounting. Law. Management consulting. Mergers & Acquisitions. Strategy

    “What’s past is prologue” William Shakespeare The professions are like evolving organisms, each continuously evolving to thrive in its environment. As my colleague, Dr George Beaton pointed out, each profession – accountancy, law and management consulting – started and grew in a profession-specific silo. But now these silos are breaking down, fast. So to understand […]

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  • 10 February, 2015

    BigLaw profitability needs a new approach

    . Disruption. Law. Strategy

    BigLaw profitability needs a new approach because Maister’s formula for BigLaw profitability needs a makeover. This post explains the reasons why a new approach is needed after serving law firms very well for over 60 years.

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  • 2 February, 2015

    Questions about Uberisation of professional services

    . Accounting. Consulting engineering. Law. Management consulting. Other professional services. Strategy

    This post asks questions about the Uberisation of professional services. This phenomenon is occurring as surely as is the Uberisation of most other parts of the services economy. Uberisation of professional services poses as many opportunities for professional services firms and institutions as it does risks and threats.

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  • 9 December, 2014

    Big Four vs BigLaw: Clash of professions

    . Accounting. Law. Strategy

    The Big Four are du jour of the legal industry as reports in The Lawyer and The American Lawyer reveal these ‘accountants’ are back in the legal arena. While the BigLaw fraternity is grappling with competition from NewLaw upstarts and their clients becoming their competitors, BigLaw now has the added headache of competitive pressures from […]

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  • 28 October, 2014

    A ‘return to growth’ is a mirage for law firms

    . Law. Strategy

    A just-published survey on larger law firms in the UK quietly celebrates a ‘return to growth’. PwC’s 2014 Law Firms’ Survey also finds ‘a degree of stability and confidence is returning to the legal sector’. This survey is comprehensive and admirably reported with some undoubted good news and eye-catching infographics, but the narrative doesn’t tell […]

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  • 27 October, 2014

    USA interview with Dr George Beaton about law firm ownership and outside investment

    . Law. Strategy

    Beaton Capital partner, Dr George Beaton recently spoke at the CLIO Cloud Conference in Chicago where he was interviewed by Legal Talk Network about law firm ownership and outside investment. Laurence Colleti of Legal Talk Network explored the Australian experience with George in this 15 minute discussion.

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  • 15 October, 2014

    The Big Bang in BigLaw – or how irreversible forces are changing law firms

    . Law. Strategy

    I was recently at a public lecture on the expanding nature of our universe. Whether we like it or not, the universe is being torn apart from a singularity creating space, time and all the other forces we take for granted from constants like gravity to uncertainties like the weather. Listening to the erudition, it […]

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  • 10 September, 2014

    Book review – ‘A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets’ by John Grimley

    . Asia. Law

    The rapid economic growth in Asia, particularly South East Asia, in recent years, has led experts to claim that the 21st century is the ‘Asian century’. As a result of this economic growth, the legal market in the Asia-Pacific region is predicted to double in size and become one of the most important legal markets […]

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  • 8 September, 2014

    A significant shift in strategic thinking in law firms is needed

    . Law. Strategy

    Alan Hodgart is of the view that without a significant shift in strategic thinking in law firms worldwide and a change in their business models, more will struggle to maintain their position, and there will be more collapses and more forced mergers. In his report on the State of the UK Legal Market titled Key […]

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  • 7 July, 2014

    In law, there’s a case for co-opetition

    . Law. Strategy

    In law, there’s a case for co-opetition as ‘There’s room enough for Big Law and LPOs‘, a recent inimitably provocative article by Peter Kalis in The Lawyer, shows. Peter is the Chairman and Global Managing Partner of K&L Gates and an articulate commentator on matters related to BigLaw. We should all listen to him.

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  • 12 May, 2014

    Notes on the future of BigLaw firms

    . Law. Strategy

    In early May this year Beaton Capital hosted an elite forum the future of BigLaw firms with leaders of major law firms in Australia. The forum was led by George Beaton and Alan Hodgart, the well-known law firm adviser based in London. These notes on the future of BigLaw firms cover some of the highlights […]

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  • 31 March, 2014

    Let’s face it, big professional services firms are difficult to tell apart

    . Accounting. Asia. Consulting engineering. Law. Other professional services. Strategy

    My colleague George Beaton recently blogged on the subject of “Crofting” as a metaphor for how to differentiate a professional services firm. Patrick McKenna of Canada commented and included a link to his Six Elements of Meaningful Differentiation article. This all got me thinking. As the former head of two international law firms in the […]

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  • 4 March, 2014

    The rise of LSO to change the shape of traditional law firms

    . Law. LPO. Strategy

    It’s now clear that the rise of LSO (legal services outsourcing) has the potential to change the shape and business model of the traditional law firm; a new book has predicted. And the same is true for in-house legal departments.

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  • 26 February, 2014

    The Ides of Maturity for professional services firms marks a modern-day turning point

    . Accounting. Consulting engineering. Law. Management consulting. Strategy

    The Ides of March marked a turning point in Roman history with the assassination of Julius Caesar (1). What I term the Ides of Maturity for professional services firms marks a modern-day turning point of another momentous kind. These Ides herald an era of life cycle maturity and the start of decline for many firms. […]

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  • 24 February, 2014

    5 opportunities for professional services firms in the Asian Century

    . Accounting. Asia. Law. Management consulting. Strategy

    ‘I have not told half of what I saw’ – Marco Polo The Venetian explorer was the first to reveal Asia to the Christian West in his infamous book, Livres des merveilles du monde written during the 13th Century. The book, which is the first documented account of Asia, triggered the Age of Discovery. The Asian […]

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