The issue of underperformance at partner level remains incredibly agonising and sensitive in law firms.
Low demand for legal services has been compounded by an increase in the competitive forces both inside and outside the legal profession. Life has become even more difficult for partners, for whom performance demands have increased at the same time as the availability of work has tailed off.
Underperformance continues to affect law firms in many ways, not least of which are diminished profitability, loss of opportunity, the disaffection of high performers, challenges to the firm’s values and falling morale. What is more, underperformance has to be seen not just in terms of productivity but also in terms of a more holistic approach to a firm’s standards.
Drawing on original and academic research from the past 8 years, and featuring contributions from law firm performance experts including Edwin Reeser, Angus Lyon, and Patrick McKenna, author Nick Jarrett-Kerr’s highly anticipated Tackling Partner Underperformance 2nd Edition covers topics including:
- Trends in partner performance
- Understanding why partners underperform or are underproductive
- Judging, rating and evaluating partners
- Aligning performance with partner compensation and rewards
- Supporting and rehabilitating underperforming partners
- Stress and mental illness impact on performance
- Systems for partner performance management
- Underperformance culture
- Governance, communication and conflict management
- And more.
Tackling Partner Underperformance 2nd Edition is arguably the most comprehensive study ever undertaken into partner underperformance in law firms, and those firms (regardless of size and location) who utilize and implement the information, advice and practical strategies for addressing this issue, will see significant differences in their productivity and ultimately profitability.
Chapter 1: Introduction and trends
Chapter 2: Clarifying and managing expectations of partnership
Chapter 3: Understanding why partners underperform or are underproductive
Chapter 4: Judging, rating and evaluating partners
Chapter 5: Adapting business metrics to fit law firms
By Edwin Reeser, president of Edwin B. Reeser and former managing partner of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
Chapter 6: Aligning with partner compensation and rewards
Chapter 7: Supporting and rehabilitating underperforming partners
Chapter 8: When lateral hires fail
Chapter 9: Stress and mental illness – a wicked legal problem?
By Angus Lyon, co-founder and director of Catalyst Counselling CIC and former partner of Mears Hobbs & Durant
Chapter 10: Systems for partner performance management
Chapter 11: Performance management in medium-sized progressive law firms – a study of UK law firm Taylor Vinters
Chapter 12: Managing underperformance
Chapter 13: Options for coping with underperformers
Chapter 14: Lost causes and other thorny issues
By Patrick McKenna, internationally recognized author, strategist, advisor and lecturer
Chapter 15: Avoiding an underperformance culture
Chapter 16: Governance issues
Chapter 17: Communication and conflict managementCheck out our Executive Summary and full table of contents here