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The Failing Law Firm


ISBN: 978-1-62722-355-3
Product Code: 5190502
2014, 404 pages, 6 x 9

The Failing Firm was written with the purpose of both illuminating the symptoms of a struggling firm and providing readers with a tool that is geared more toward predicting destabilization, rather than just defining it once it is happening.

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As institutions, firms face different, and in some cases, more intense structural challenges than most-if-not-all others. They are not held to the same standards of transparency, financial hygiene, and infrastructural-sterility as their publically-traded clients. Leadership and management can all...
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Product Reviews 5 out of 5  (1 Reviews)
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Imme Kaschner Jun 18, 2014 Report Abuse
The Failing Law Firm' by David J Parnell is a timely and relevant book for commercial lawyers. It centres around case studies of forty-two recent major commercial firm (50+partners) failures. Parnell distills the evidence into patterns that can be found across many failing firms. He uses his extensive knowledge of the industry to generate diagnostic criteria that might well predict a high likelihood of failure in other cases. But beyond that, he analyses the dysfunctional patterns and points out practical ways to counteract them. Parnell's analysis makes it clear that while economic changes contributed to some firm failures (e.g. the burst of the dotcom bubble for Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP), internal problems relating to strategy, financial management, and firm culture were far more detrimental. Given the changes in the legal services industry that today's commercial law firms face, this is a timely message. The book covers aspects such as governance, firm culture, compensation models, and overall firm strategy, and makes it clear how they can jointly and severally lead to firm failure, as detailed in the case studies, if not counteracted in a timely fashion. The style is conversational, well-researched and detailed (occasionally slightly too much so), making the book worthwhile and enjoyable read. Overall, mandatory reading for anyone working in a commercial law firm today, or considering a lateral move.
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