By Meyler Campbell
There are some things that in the normal course of events are impossible to get, even for our amazing community – but this summer we’ve been incredibly lucky to secure some briefings one would normally never access. They’ll put you streets ahead of the game, and every single penny goes to charity. First up:
Big Bang for lawyers: what’s it all about?
Ten thousand law firms across the UK are marching in solid phalanx towards the cliff-edge – Big Bang for lawyers is due to happen on 6 October 2011, when external equity investment will be permitted in English law firms for the first time and “Tesco law” will allow in new and very different competition. Private equity and M&A are circling and armed to the teeth, and despite their protestations even the largest City firms should be thinking differently. A few leading edge coaches are already working flat out helping leaders keep clear heads. But most law firms are in classic Kubler-Ross cycles – were in denial, now in suppressed panic, and most coaches haven’t woken up to the vast opportunity and need for their services. In sharp contrast to the hyperbole of this blurb, Professor Stephen Mayson, a world authority on law firm strategy, adviser to law firms, companies, regulators and governments around the world, and the insider’s insider on the Legal Services Act, will lay out a sober, cautious and scrupulously accurate briefing on what is actually happening – the key facts, the timings, the implications. Whether lawyer, leader, coach, or all three, in this one short Breakthrough Briefing you can switch from uninformed victim of this change, to informed rider of its waves!
Date: Thursday 14th July 2011, 4.30pm to 6.00pm, central London venue. Booking Fee £100. If you want to come but can’t make the date, please feel free to send someone in your place: in addition to being gold dust information, this is the final glorious fundraising push supporting Ann Orton’s parachute jump for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, so we’re keen for as many as possible to attend! To book a place, please contact Claire on firstname.lastname@example.org. All places will be confirmed upon receipt of the booking fee which can be submitted by clicking the following link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action? userUrl=AnnOrton&faId=74454&isTeam=false
Dick Tyler – Meyler Campbell Faculty Member
I think there are significant coaching opportunities in law firms. Some of these (a significant majority) are with the rank and file partners, who look after big books of business but don’t really worry much about Legal Services Act issues. Others (a handful, at most, per firm) are with senior and managing partners, who do. I think the Legal Services Act is one element of a change and modernisation process which is happening to the legal profession, but I’d be surprised if it’s going to be like Big Bang, even though quite a lot of suppliers of services to law firms would like it to be!
The fact is that law firms don’t need large capital bases in the way that banks do - we can spend a certain amount of money of recruiting people, opening offices or IT, but we are likely to fall flat on our faces if we do too much of it or do it too fast. The reason for this is that the thing that needs to be scaled up is culture, which is what makes each firm distinctive and takes time. And there are some pretty big firms that have got big without needing the Legal Services Act to enable them to do so.
I don’t want to rain on the parade, I just don’t want people to try and sell coaching on the basis of a false prospectus!
All analysis of which stage of the Kubler-Ross cycle I’m in gratefully received!