The traditional law-firm business model has delivered technically excellent service at seemingly whatever cost. But the times have changed, with the global financial crisis only accelerating the price-down pressures, commoditization, and client demand for efficient, business-relevant services. To respond, law firms will have to go beyond cutting costs while preserving the general way they win work, produce work, and govern themselves. Law firms need to adopt business models that are better adapted to serve their clients not just today, but well into the future.
To succeed under the changed circumstances, law firms need to remake their business models in accord with the needs of their commercial clients. This book provides examples of innovative and successful business models from remade law firms. Ultimately, this book is meant to fuel a desire for change in law firms that goes beyond thinking and planning, and leads straight into the messy, frustrating, exciting world of implementing change, and ultimately to better client service.
Praise for Remaking Law Firms: Why and How
"There is currently no roadmap to the future for the chronically myopic, change-averse legal profession. Fortunately, now comes Remaking Law Firms: Why and How which tells us in well-documented detail how to pack our bags for the journey ahead."
— Janet Welch, Executive Director, State Bar of Michigan
"No-one knows exactly what the future holds. Some create their own future; others need to be prepared and flexible for whatever happens. As old certainties disappear and new ones are not available, the most powerful question any strategy process can ask is: “What if…?” There is no better preparation or companion for generating answers to that question than Remaking Law Firms."
— Stephen Mayson, Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London
"The inexorable march from a firm-centric legal services world to a client-focused and driven one continues. Firms may agree or disagree with George Beaton’s and Imme Kaschner’s presentation, prognosis and prescription in Remaking Law Firms: Why and How – but only those with hubris or myopia will disregard this compelling work."
— Jeff Carr, President, ValoremNext LLC, Former General Counsel, FMC Technologies Inc.
"In the slow growth law firm industry, where competition for work and talent has intensified and pricing pressure is high, building a differentiated brand and a more efficient business model have become more important than ever before. Remaking Law Firms: Why and How is a welcome primer on the challenges and opportunities facing law firm leaders now and in the future."
— Gretta Rusanow, Head of Advisory Services, Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group
"The financial boom of the Noughties masked the ending of a golden era of private legal practice. Since the Global Financial Crisis law firms have confronted a new reality but have been ill-equipped to do so. Remaking Law Firms provides the guidance professional legal management needs."
— Nigel Boardman, Partner, Slaughter and May
"The status quo in the legal industry has a way of ossifying in the minds of law firm leaders. We had better get over it. George Beaton and Imme Kaschner predict a world in which change must be embraced as you would an old friend. Ignore their message at your peril."
— Peter J. Kalis, Chairman and Global Managing Partner, K&L Gates LLP
"When the history of the NewLaw era is finally written, George Beaton will occupy a leading role in its development and execution. You don’t have to buy into everything George says to find value in his views. Remaking Law Firms is an important contribution to the discussion that is feeding the dreams and nightmares of wise and worried BigLaw partners around the world."
— Aric Press, Partner, Bernero & Press, Former editor in chief, The American Lawyer
"George Beaton and Imme Kaschner build a compelling case for change with this accessible, research-based, and remarkably wide-ranging resource for building the future of our profession and practices, inside firms and in-house. For lawyers who are open to it, their insights help clearly identify where opportunities can be seized within the kaleidoscope they describe."
— Fred Headon, Canadian Bar Association: Chair of the Legal Futures Initiative and Immediate Past President, Air Canada: Assistant General Counsel, Labour and Employment Law
"A lively blend of consulting experience and management theory, this book sets a challenging agenda for law firms of the future. With evident expertise, George Beaton and Imme Kaschner ask and answer the central questions of strategy for twenty-first century legal businesses."
— Professor Richard Susskind, Author of Tomorrow’s Lawyers and co-author of The Future of the Professions
"George Beaton’s Remaking Law Firms offers law firm leaders a comprehensive and pragmatic examination of the present and future legal landscape and what firms can do to make the most of it. As the title suggests, Beaton believes law firms must remake themselves. He provides very valuable counsel on how they should do it."
— Ralph Baxter, Chairman of the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, Former Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
"Remaking Law Firms blends George Beaton’s twenty-five years of market leading research and legal consulting with Imme Kaschner’s interest in the legal services industry, work and change, to produce an outstanding analysis of the future of the legal profession. They encourage lawyers to challenge their assumptions to meet the rapidly shifting legal environment. Law firm leaders will ignore this at their peril!"
— Stuart Clark, President Law Council of Australia, Partner, Clayton Utz