Law Firm Innovation: Insights and Practice

What does innovation look like for a traditional industry such as law? How will innovation create margins that law firms can capitalise on?

Law Firm Innovation: Insights and Practice by multiple expert contributors answers these questions and provides an overview of innovation options and practices in a changing legal marketplace.

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In these highly competitive times, there is little room for firms that are content to remain as they've always been.

Global competition, commoditisation, legal outsourcing and pressure from clients to cut costs have created a sense of urgency within law firms to better understand their own businesses. This has implications for the way law firms view and use their resources, expertise and human capital.

A commitment to innovation opens doors for law firms to better align themselves with client needs and encourages the development of new tools and service offerings to assist with on-going business needs. 

But what does innovation really mean in a law firm context? In what ways can an undeniably traditional industry demonstrate innovation? How do individual law firms show what innovation means to them? 

Law Firm Innovation: Insights and Practice not only answers these questions, but provides an overview of innovation options and practices in a changing legal marketplace.

This guide offers practical advice for firms that are looking to become more innovative in the way they work, and it provides first-hand examples of innovation in practice within the legal industry.

This guide will enable you to:

  • Gain insight into innovation in the legal market from experts and practitioners from around the world.
  • Review several practical frameworks, designed to help law firms introduce innovation as a core business activity.
  • Learn from case studies on some of the most innovative legal service providers and the ground-breaking approaches already being taken. You can use these to benchmark your innovative approaches.


Executive summary 

Part one: Strategies and tactics for innovation

Chapter 1: Disruptive innovation 

  • Innovation in the legal market 
  • Where does disruption come from? 
  • Alternative providers: A broad range of different firms 
  • Classification of alternative providers 
  • Point of attack: The value chain of law firms 
  • Who drives innovation and change 
  • Core hypotheses derived from the study 

Chapter 2: Building a culture of innovation in legal services 

  • The innovation imperative 
  • A culture of innovation 
  • Create the foundation – Building skills and awareness 
  • Provide the right time, space, and funding 
  • Recognise common barriers to innovation 
  • Lead by example and others will follow 
  • Conclusion: Building a culture of innovation 

Chapter 3: Developing knowledge capability to support innovation 

  • Innovation basics 
  • Knowledge management and innovation 
  • A different approach: Improving knowledge capability 
  • The prospect for knowledge capability and innovation in law firms 

Chapter 4: The frameworks of strategic innovation

  • Eureka! 
  • Strategic innovation 
  • The Pentathlon Framework – It’s not just about the ideas… 
  • The Innovation Audit 
  • Service Blueprinting 
  • The Morphological Box 
  • The Four Actions Framework 
  • Tipping Point Leadership 
  • Conclusion 

Chapter 5: Rethinking pricing – Why fixed fees and value pricing are not pricing innovations 

  • What is innovation? 
  • Pricing innovation myths 
  • Real pricing innovation 
  • Case study 1: Pfizer 
  • Case study 2: CMS Cameron McKenna 
  • Test your firm’s ability to generate innovative pricing models 
  • Different perspectives 

Chapter 6: Innovations in legal technology 

  • Untapped data 
  • Moving beyond spreadsheets 
  • Tackling transparency 
  • The next step 
  • Case study: Prosperoware’s Umbria software
  • Innovation with impact? 

Part two: Case studies

Case study 1: Baker & McKenzie – Innovation in HR 

  • Baker & McKenzie’s people agenda 
  • Learning and development initiatives 
  • Senior associate development centre
  • Partners’ business development academy 
  • Coaching 
  • Agile working 
  • Diversity and inclusion 
  • Appointing a diversity and inclusion partner 
  • Diversity focus groups 
  • Global LGBT policy 
  • Social mobility and diversity 
  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Conclusion 

Case study 2: Marque Lawyers – The development of law firm innovation 

  • Marque, seven years on 
  • The pressure of competition (or not) 
  • External forces impacting the legal market 
  • Innovation in the law, or what passes for it 
  • Meanwhile, as Rome burns 

Case study 3: AdventBalance – Innovation and value at the heart of everything we do 

Case study 4: gunnercooke – Innovation in a very different law firm 

  • The gunnercooke model 
  • Expansion and growth 
  • Culture 

Case study 5: Riverview Law – The coming storm 

  • Real and imaginary barriers 
  • From Law 1
  • 1989
  • The rise of the knowledge worker 
  • The big disconnect 
  • The new legal giants 
Download chapters


Mark Gould
Head of knowledge management, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Arne Gärtner
Arne Gärtner is a research assistant at the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. His PhD research at the University of Potsdam focuses on the value of legal services from a company’s point of view and on the competitive situation in the legal market.
Richard Hinwood
Strategy and Governance Director Executive Withers LLP
John Knox
Managing Director, Asia, AdventBalance
Michael Bradley
Managing Partner, Marque Lawyers
Adam Billing
Partner, Møller PSF Group
Abigail Hunt
Associate, Møller PSF Group
Markus Hartung
Director, Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession, Hamburg
Darryl Cooke
Founder, gunnercooke
Karl Chapman
Chief Executive, Riverview Law