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
Mark Gould is the founder of Mark Gould Consulting, a business focused on helping law firms use their knowledge more productively. He works with firms of all sizes, helping them to stand out in their markets by acting as a catalyst for improvement, combining his understanding of xv Innovating for competitive advantage in the legal profession the legal sector with the firm’s deep knowledge. He was head of knowledge management at Addleshaw Goddard LLP between 2006 and 2014, and a PSL at the same firm from 2001. Prior to that, he spent 13 years teaching law at the University of Bristol.
Arne Gärtner
Dr Arne Gärtner is a senior legal project manager at Linklaters. As manager of the firm’s German Business Improvement team, he is also generally responsible for Legal Project Management (LPM) and Legal Technology (LT) in Germany. In his role as a senior LPM he supports the practice in the management of large and complex matters and advises on the use of technology for handling such transactions. Furthermore, Arne is a member of the global Innovation and Efficiency working group of Linklaters and responsible for Innovation and Efficiency in Germany. Arne studied Business Administration at the University of Potsdam and Mediation at the European University of Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). He also holds a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Potsdam. In addition, he is an IPMA (International Project Management Association) certified Project Management Associate and Fellow of the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession where he worked as a Research Assistant from 2012 till 2015.
Richard Hinwood
Strategy and Governance Director Executive Withers LLP
John Knox
Managing Director, Asia, AdventBalance
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley is the managing partner of Marque Lawyers, a boutique commercial law firm in Sydney which he and some fellow refugees from Big Law founded in 2008 with the stated intention of completely revolutionizing the way law is practiced. Anyone who has had anything to do with Marque will attest that it really does do law differently. Apart from continuing to explore how much fun a lawyer can have while pretending to work, Michael writes regularly on public interest issues, the legal industry, and whatever else he gets excited about. He also wrote a book called Kill all the Lawyers, which pretty much sums it all up.
Adam Billing
Adam Billing is the founder of Treehouse Innovation ( He works with leading corporate and professional service organisations, helping them to develop new products, services, and strategy, and to build their own internal innovative capacity.
Abigail Hunt
Abigail Hunt is the founder of Abigail Hunt Consulting ( She works with leading corporate and professional service organisations, helping them to develop new products, services, and strategy, and to build their own internal innovative capacity.
Markus Hartung
Markus Hartung is a lawyer and mediator. He is director of the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession (CLP) at Bucerius Law School, Hamburg. His expertise in the framework of the CLP lies in market development and trends, management and strategic leadership, as well as corporate governance of law firms and business models of law firms with regard to digitalisation of the legal market. He is chair of the committee on professional regulation of the German Bar Association (DAV). As a lawyer he focuses on conflict management, regulatory matters and professional indemnity issues. In addition, he advises law firms in strategy and management questions and coaches partners in management xvi About the authors functions. He is a regular lecturer and conference-speaker on leadership, management topics, and professional ethics and has written numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. He is co-editor and author of Wegerich/Hartung: Der Rechtsmarkt in Deutschland (The Legal Market in Germany) which came to the market in early 2014 and has developed into a standard reference for the German legal market. He is also co-author of How Legal Technology Will Change the Business of Law, a joint study of The Boston Consulting Group and the Bucerius Law School. His recently published book Legal Tech. Die Digitalisierung des Rechtsmarkts is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of legal technology on the legal profession in German speaking countries. 
Darryl Cooke
Founder, gunnercooke
Karl Chapman
Karl Chapman is CEO of Riverview Law and Chairman of the Board of Kim Technologies. Riverview Law provides customers with a flexible, customer focused approach to the provision of legal services, underpinned by talented people, effective processes, scalable technology, and a customer-centric culture. Kim Technologies a leading edge software company that applies artificial intelligence capabilities to knowledge automation in any sector. 

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