The American Lawyer – Satisfied Attorneys Are the Overlooked Key to Revenue Growth

One of the biggest differences I observed between corporate and legal is that corporations understand the correlation between client satisfaction and employee satisfaction and are vigilant about managing and measuring both.

[T]he key to winning customers and clients was ensuring that the employees delivering the service were engaged and passionate. He also said that as the talent market gets tighter and tighter, organizations that invest in their employees as much as their customers and clients will win.

I have worked in the legal industry long enough to predict the objection many firms will have to the above system. “We’re a partnership,” they will say. “Those programs may work in a corporation, but not in a law firm.” I respectfully challenge firms to consider the risk. Timekeepers are a firm’s most valuable asset, and depending on the study, 20 to 60 percent of them may be disengaged. Of course, it’s possible that unhappy lawyers can mask their displeasure and keep clients unaware. But while some attorneys can compartmentalize their frustrations, others are not so adept.

I have had first-hand conversations with in-house counsel and they express common but simple expectations—make my life easier, be proactive, and help me and my company avoid risk. They also say they want to enjoy working with their outside counsel, whom they see as an extension of their own team.

Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute – The Top 5 Takeaways from the Marketing Partner Forum 2019

1. Be conscious of how you’re grooming your leaders.

2. Make diversity a priority.

3. Don’t hold your breath for standardization of outside corporate guidelines.

4. Want your firm to stand out? Make the client your ‘Luke Skywalker’.

5. Clients will tell you what they want (especially if you ask).

Corporate Counsel – Firms Should Not Think of Legal Operations as Only Cost Savers

A law firm’s drive to bring in revenue and a legal operations function’s goal to reduce outside spend are not necessarily opposed to each other and law firms should get to know the values of the business they are hired to do work for, according to a panel of experts at the 2019 Legalweek on Wednesday at the Midtown Hilton in Manhattan.

The American Lawyer – ‘Change’ Is a Mantra for Law Firms, But Will They Tune In?

To Ralph Baxter, the former chairman of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, nearly everything about law firms will need to change if they are to be successful in the near future. They will need to re-examine their financial model; their resources model; their underlying legal services delivery model; and their investment model.

“Until it starts hitting partners in the pocketbook, they will not believe it. There is no existential threat, or perceived existential threat, and so that is why there’s no change. So what’s the problem? We are all part of the problem. We have been saying the same thing over and over again. We’ve said, ‘Change is coming. We need to rethink everything.’ And the partners at the law firms have heard this. And it’s like the boy who cried wolf. Nothing has happened. And the law firm partners are doing very well. So because of that, you have tremendous skepticism among a group of people who are very skeptical to begin with.”

“Process is 99 percent of innovation. Define what you do. Measure how you do it. And improve what you do.”

The American Lawyer – Behind Elevate’s Buying Binge: Liam Brown’s Meticulous Strategy

“We think building a multidisciplinary company is going to be how you solve business problems in the future that have a legal element,” Brown said.

Elevate’s strategy starts with three main “value propositions” Brown says the company offers. Those are: ”Innovate” how legal work is done by law departments to manage risk. “Improve” visibility, predictability, control and costs of law department operations. And to “elevate” services for law firms to improve the value and efficiency they deliver to clients.

Despite this competition, Brown is not outwardly antagonistic toward other legal service models, especially law firms. He wants Elevate to help law firms overcome their inability to invest in expensive technologies and resources that in-house clients increasingly desire.

The Global Legal Post – KPMG in French ‘coup’

President of biggest law firm in France Fidal accuses KPMG of ‘coup’ against the profession after 130 lawyers decamp to accounting giant.

The lawyers joining KPMG’s legal arm included tax, transfer pricing, and international mobility specialists.

Fidal was affiliated with the KPMG network before severing any link with the audit network in the early 2000s due to regulations requiring clear separation between the board and the audit. The two firms maintained a non-exclusive power-sharing relationship. The press reports state that in July 2018, KPMG decided to break the deal, but KPMG included two clauses to reassure Fidal: a notice clause until 2019 and a non-poaching clause until 2020.

The Global Legal Post – Evidence of ‘massive’ rise in AI patents highlighted in WIPO survey

WIPO director general Francis Gurry, said ‘patenting activity in the artificial intelligence realm is rising at a rapid pace, meaning we can expect a very significant number of new AI-based products, applications and techniques that will alter our daily lives, and also shape future human interaction with the machines we created.’

Machine learning, in particular the neural networks that have revolutionized machine translation, is the dominant AI technique disclosed in patents. Computer vision, which includes image recognition and is crucial for the implementation of self-driving cars, is the most popular AI application. The transportation sector, including autonomous vehicles, is among the fields with the fastest rate of AI-related growth.