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  • 30 August, 2016

    Why I believe E4IR is a critically important conference

    . Other professional services

    ‘Why I believe E4IR is a critically important conference’ is a statement by Michael Hanna, Head of Infrastructure – Australia for IFM Investors. Michael is referring to the Engineering your firm for the 4th industrial revolution – hence E4IR – a conference being organised by beatonlive and Innergise. 

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  • 22 August, 2016

    Engineering in the 4th industrial revolution is on the brink

    . beatonlive. Business models. Consulting engineering. Disruption. Engineering

    ‘Engineering in the 4th industrial revolution is on the brink’ is not intended to be a melodramatic assertion. Rather it makes the point that the 4th industrial revolution is here, now. It offers as many opportunities as it poses risks and threats. This post explains the tenets of the 4th industrial revolution and shares the […]

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 17 November, 2015

    Why digitisation is a net opportunity for professional services

    . Digitisation. Disruption. Professional services

    The rapidly rising tide of evidence and debate shows why digitisation is a net opportunity for professional services. This post collates examples to add to Beaton’s contribution to helping our clients recognise and seize the opportunity, and to draw readers’ attention to Thriving in the New Digital Landscape, a beatonlive conference on 9 March 2016.   

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  • 4 November, 2015

    For professions only the brave with a voice will be heard

    . Disruption. Professional services

    Today’s Forum organised by Professions Australia started with a challenge: “For professions only the brave with a voice will be heard”. So spoke Alex Malley, CEO of CPA Australia in an inspiring opening address. The Future of the Professions in a Digitising World was a rich and stimulating event. Here are 10 of my take-outs.

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  • 15 October, 2015

    BigLaw’s perfect storm

    . Law. Strategy

    Being a Managing Partner has been a difficult task since the subprime mortgage crisis and global recession of 2008, some say it’s BigLaw’s perfect storm.

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  • 11 October, 2015

    New Susskind book: The Future of the Professions

    . Professional services. Strategy

    The Future of the Professions is a much-anticipated new book from Richard Susskind and his son Daniel Susskind. It is now available from Oxford University Press. On first reading it lives up to my highest expectations; I warmly commend The Future of the Professions to all who practise and value and benefit from professional life.

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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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  • 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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  • 13 July, 2015

    Why clients of BigLaw firms value cost consciousness

    . beatonbenchmarks. beatonlive. Law. Pricing and Procurement

    Research by Beaton continues to show why clients of BigLaw firms value cost consciousness. If you understand what cost conscious really means to clients, this may not surprise you. But, did you also know that being well rated on cost consciousness by clients allows a firm to exercise price-setting discretion? In other words, you can raise your price – […]

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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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  • 17 February, 2015

    Do you want me to feel like a box of corn flakes?

    . Brands. Disruption. Law. Strategy

    Many years ago in a marketing workshop, a sparky young law firm partner asked “Do you want me to feel like a box of corn flakes?”. The room murmured; all agreed but remained silent in discomfort, even disbelief. Back then marketing was a novel, and for most, a distasteful concept on which the profession frowned, and […]

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 29 September, 2014

    Why the economics of free agency should worry partners

    . Governance. Law. Strategy

    Until recently I have not paid full attention to the free agent phenomenon, but during a recent visit to Chicago I came to understand why the economics of free agency should worry every owner of a BigLaw firm.

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  • 11 August, 2014

    Coda: Why Professionalism is Relevant Today

    . Accounting. Consulting engineering. Health. Law. Other professional services

    Last week I was truly humbled by this email received via LinkedIn about ‘Why Professionalism is Relevant Today’, a paper I published in 2010.

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  • 14 July, 2014

    For services firms clients are canaries

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

    In services firms recent research shows clients are canaries. We all know in yesteryear caged canaries were used in coal mines to detect lethal gas. Well, Beaton’s research shows for professional services firms their clients are canaries. Over the last 10 years research by Beaton Research+Consulting (BR+C) has identified seven professional services firms in Australia […]

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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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  • 20 June, 2014

    Signs of trouble in BigLaw firms

    . Law. Strategy

    Analysis of media reports suggests there are very few signs of trouble in BigLaw firms in the years before they collapse. The swift death of Canadian blue chip BigLaw firm Heenan Blaikie in February this year is the most recent high profile case. Given the turbulence in the BigLaw industry in all developed economies and […]

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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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  • 23 April, 2014

    Two hard questions about law firms’ fee strategies

    . beatonbenchmarks. Law. Strategy

    When sorrows come, they come not single spies But in battalions. —King Claudius, Hamlet: Act 4, Scene 5 When an industry reaches life cycle maturity, it seems to many of the incumbent firms that their sorrows do indeed come in battalions. Recent Beaton research sheds fresh light on the underlying causes and provides cogent reasons for […]

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  • 6 March, 2014

    Why crofting is so important to owners of professional services firms

    . Strategy

    ‘Why crofting is so important to professional services firms’ is neither a spoof nor a piece of trivia. Crofting is used as metaphor to convey to law and other professional services firms what Ted Levitt wrote about more than 30 years ago in Harvard Business Review in his classic ‘Marketing Success Through Differentiation—of Anything‘.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 6 September, 2013

    Last days of the BigLaw business model?

    . Law. Strategy

    We are witnessing the last days of the BigLaw business model. As recently as a few days ago, The Lawyer in London published a range of prognostications about the shape and fate of large law firms in 2018. For partners in large law firms the articles don’t make entirely comfortable reading. But, The Lawyer, like […]

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  • 6 August, 2013

    Be the firm clients can’t do without: Another view

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

    The recent post in Research Reveal blog about the idea of being the firm clients can’t do without’ created a good deal of interest in the blogosphere. One comment likened the idea of striving to be the firm clients can’t do without to concepts in a recent book: Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works. […]

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  • 30 July, 2013

    Danger in being part of the BigLaw establishment

    . Law. Strategy

    Last week the Editor-in-Chief of The American Lawyer – the world’s most influential legal services trade magazine – demonstrated the danger inherent in the BigLaw establishment. Robin Sparkman wrote a piece with an innocent enough sounding headline: Don’t Bury Big Law Just Yet. To argue BigLaw is “alive, well, and rich” she drew on The […]

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  • 29 July, 2013

    How capital structure influences partnership culture

    . Accounting. Governance. Law. Other professional services. Strategy

    There was a time when keeping an eye on lock-up (the sum of debtors and work-in-progress) was the only balance sheet item to which the managers of partnerships paid much attention. In those times banks were easy lenders and, in the main, equity partners were relaxed about the timing of their top-up draws. But in […]

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  • 1 July, 2013

    The board conundrum in professional services firms

    . Governance

    The board is a conundrum in professional services firms. It is a conundrum because answering the question “When is a board a true board in a professional services firm?” is both easy and hard at the same time.

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  • 16 June, 2013

    How to think about what to pay partners

    . Law. Strategy

    How to think about what to pay partners is based on an idea in Richard Rapp’s recent post on the Adam Smith Esq blog. Richard believes ‘the chief strategic problem facing most…firms is how to avoid stasis and decline in a highly competitive market’. In our view Richard is right; at the heart of the […]

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