Bigger. Better. Both?
30 August, 2016
Why I believe E4IR is a critically important conference
‘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.
22 August, 2016
Engineering in the 4th industrial revolution is on the brink
‘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 […]
19 July, 2016
First NewLaw firm in New Zealand
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.
16 June, 2016
29 April, 2016
More NewLaw M&A: Elevate acquires Legal OnRamp
‘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.
19 April, 2016
11 April, 2016
DLA Piper–LOD alliance in Australia will boost NewLaw
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.
15 March, 2016
The third major NewLaw announcement in three months: Clients win
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.
24 February, 2016
21 February, 2016
15 January, 2016
1 January, 2016
What law firms and taxis have in common
‘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.
12 December, 2015
Digital disruption in professional services delivery
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.
6 December, 2015
Resolving the prioritisation crisis in BigLaw firms
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 […]
17 November, 2015
Why digitisation is a net opportunity for 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.
4 November, 2015
For professions only the brave with a voice will be heard
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.
15 October, 2015
11 October, 2015
New Susskind book: The Future of the Professions
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.
22 August, 2015
Legal Innovation Index Awards address by Dr George Beaton
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 […]
15 August, 2015
10 reasons BigLaw managing partners are not sleeping very well
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.
13 July, 2015
Why clients of BigLaw firms value cost consciousness
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 – […]
11 May, 2015
8 April, 2015
Grow your firm by helping clients to switch to you
Dr George Beaton. 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.
30 March, 2015
One sure way to grow organically in a stagnant market
Dr George Beaton. 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 […]
17 February, 2015
Do you want me to feel like a box of corn flakes?
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 […]
10 February, 2015
BigLaw profitability needs a new approach
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.
2 February, 2015
Questions about Uberisation of professional services
Dr George Beaton. 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.
15 January, 2015
Fresh thinking on the evolving BigLaw–NewLaw taxonomy
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 […]
28 October, 2014
A ‘return to growth’ is a mirage for law firms
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 […]
27 October, 2014
USA interview with Dr George Beaton about law firm ownership and outside investment
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.
7 October, 2014
First anniversary of the start of NewLaw
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 […]
29 September, 2014
Why the economics of free agency should worry partners
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.
11 August, 2014
14 July, 2014
For services firms clients are canaries
Dr George Beaton. 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 […]
7 July, 2014
In law, there’s a case for co-opetition
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.
20 June, 2014
Signs of trouble in BigLaw firms
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 […]
12 May, 2014
Notes on the future of BigLaw firms
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 […]
23 April, 2014
Two hard questions about law firms’ fee strategies
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 […]
6 March, 2014
Why crofting is so important to owners of professional services firms
‘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‘.
26 February, 2014
The Ides of Maturity for professional services firms marks a modern-day turning point
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. […]
21 February, 2014
18 December, 2013
Be one of the first to read NewLaw New Rules
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.
12 December, 2013
How to recognise a NewLaw firm
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’ […]
7 October, 2013
The rise and rise of the NewLaw business model
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 […]
6 September, 2013
Last days of the BigLaw business model?
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 […]
6 August, 2013
Be the firm clients can’t do without: Another view
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. […]
30 July, 2013
Danger in being part of the BigLaw establishment
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 […]
29 July, 2013
How capital structure influences partnership culture
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 […]
1 July, 2013
The board conundrum in professional services firms
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.
16 June, 2013
How to think about what to pay partners
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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