Insider Insights: Strategic Success Stories from Leading Law Firms

It is no secret that the legal market is changing fast, law firms that are standing still are seeing the sand shift beneath their feet. Growth has become more difficult, clients are more demanding, and market conditions increasingly competitive. 


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  • Publication date: August, 2016
  • Pages: 115
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-254-9


It is no secret that the legal market is changing fast, law firms that are standing still are seeing the sand shift beneath their feet. Growth has become more difficult, clients are more demanding, and market conditions increasingly competitive. 

In these challenging times, successful firms have kept their eyes on the shifting landscape, altered their course, and forged a new way ahead.

Through a series of case studies from a wide range of leading international firms, Insider Insights provides law firm leaders with insight into, and lessons learned from, change initiatives and innovations successfully implemented by their peers. 

Practical advice is provided in four crucial areas: strategy and practice management, client management, marketing and business development, and human resources.

The firms that succeed in the future will be those that arrive at novel ways of performing work more efficiently, effectively, while delivering greater value to clients.


Executive summary

About the authors

Chapter 1: Quest for change – The impact of a culture of continuous innovation

  • Innovation culture 
  • Recent changes
  • Client communications
  • Legal aid cuts
  • Key performance indicators
  • Lessons learned

Chapter 2: Reservoir of trust – Build trust and confidence in your leadership

  • Strategic industry focus
  • Building confi dence
  • Fiscal management
  • The next big challenge

Chapter 3: Funding blueprint – Improve your relationship with your bank

  • Laying the groundwork
  • Funding requirements
  • Winning support
  • Measuring returns

Chapter 4: X-raying matters – How to improve matter risk management

  • The eureka moment
  • Creating the system
  • How it works
  • The second eureka moment
  • Impact on the firm
  • Improving risk management
  • Expanding the scope
  • Client risk assessment
  • Future plans
  • The core secrets of PII risks – or how to reduce your PII claims and premiums

Chapter 5: Raising standards – Introducing a client service charter

  • Measuring service
  • Examining results
  • Changing firm culture

Chapter 6: Eliminating waste – Using lean six sigma to improve business processes

  • LSS in practice
  • New business line
  • Challenges faced
  • Return on investment

Chapter 7: Commercial intelligence – Why NewLaw firms should have an ERP system

  • Needs assessment
  • Investment criteria
  • Business benefits

Chapter 8: Countdown to launch – Merging marketing on a tight deadline

  • Pre-merger
  • Day one
  • Post-merger
  • Ongoing work

Chapter 9: Flat hierarchy – Why your law fi rm needs an inclusive culture

  • Open communication
  • Core values
  • Challenges and lessons 
  • A foundation of trust 

Chapter 10: Holistic parity – Achieving gender equality without targets or quotas 81

  • Role models 
  • Values and culture 
  • Engagement levels 
  • Focus on L&D 
  • Flexible working 
  • Networking groups 
  • The future 

Chapter 11: Remote control – How remote working keeps clients and lawyers happy

  • In the beginning
  • The next big thing
  • Law in the cloud
  • The pilot process
  • Remote working myths
  • Remote managed teams
  • The future
Full Overview


Jeff Berardi
Jeff Berardi is the Chief Marketing Officer for the global law firm K&L Gates. As CMO, Jeff leads global marketing and business development efforts for the firm's offices located throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, and the Middle East. Within this role, he maintains primary responsibility for the various function areas in the department, including strategic planning, regional and practice-based business development, PR and media relations, creative direction, and digital marketing communications. 
Jim Rishwain
Chair and chief executive officer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Patrick Allen
Patrick Allen qualified as a solicitor in 1977 when he founded Hodge Jones & Allen in Camden with Henry Hodge and Peter Jones. From day one he was the fi rm’s managing partner and combined this with the position of senior partner following Henry’s retirement in 1998. The fi rm was founded with the particular aim of helping individuals assert and defend their rights and to correct miscarriages of justice. Many of the fi rm’s fi rst cases were funded by the legal aid scheme and legal aid still funds a substantial proportion of the fi rm’s criminal defence, care and housing cases.
Peter Bennett
Peter Bennett has been chief operating offi cer (COO) of Bates Wells Braithwaite since 2006. During that time BWB has expanded from £8 million to £25 million with a 225 headcount, converted to an LLP and then to an ABS, and has then become the only law fi rm in the UK to gain the world accreditation for being a socially responsible profi t-making business (B Corps). He is the compliance offi cer for fi nance and administration (COFA), risk manager, data protection offi cer, leads the risk and compliance service, as well as having director level reports in accounting, Human Resources (HR), fi nance and Information Technology (IT).
Michael Burne
Michael Burne thrives on fi nding a better way to do things. Especially where, change, disruption and bucking the trend are involved. Through to his core this is what he is about. And what he does. His career has taken him from solicitor within London’s Magic Circle to director at board level within large fi nancial institutions. Along the way he became very frustrated with the practice of law. He had fi rst-hand experience and a deep-rooted knowledge that the traditional law fi rm model was broken. It didn’t work for lawyers or clients. Michael knew there had to be a different way, a better way. For lawyers. For clients. So the belief that this existed launched him on a journey where, research, exploration and dogged determination has brought him to where he is today, CEO of Carbon Law Partners. A commercial law fi rm, where they are doing things a different way. A better way.
Kim Carr
Kim Carr has been managing partner of FBC Manby Bowdler LLP since 2005. Previously, she headed the firm’s private client department, before leading the merger of FBC Solicitors with Manby Steward Bowdler LLP in 2008. She was named LawNet managing partner of the year in 2012 and has been chair of the LawNet board since 2015. FBC Manby Bowdler is a 30-partner fi rm with over 200 staff working from six offices across the UK. Alongside rankings in the Legal 500 and Chambers, the firm is annually recognised in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For listings. 
Stuart Whittle
Stuart Whittle is a qualifi ed lawyer by trade, having practised law as a professional indemnity lawyer since 1995. He has been a partner at Weightmans since 2002. During 2003, Stuart become involved in Weightmans’ IT, designing, developing and rolling out case management systems across the fi rm. In 2005 Stuart took on responsibility for Weightmans’ IT department and in 2010 was promoted to IS and operations director with responsibility for IT, HR, Knowledge Management (KM), Projects, Facilities, Risk and Marketing and since when he has been a member of Weightmans’ Board.
Suzanne Todd
Suzanne Todd is an experienced family lawyer who advises clients on the full range of issues which arise on the breakdown of a relationship. She has particular expertise in dealing with complex fi nancial cases often with an international or trust related element. She has a wealth of experience in private law disputes over children including dealing with residence, contact arrangements and leave to remove a child from their place of residence. In addition to this, her work includes drafting pre and post-nuptial agreements and dealing with the breakdown of relationships between cohabitees.

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