Like many professional firms, a legal practice is all about the people; not just the leaders and partners, but everyone who contributes to your success.
The legal profession is in many instances still recovering from the recession and in several cases has been hit again by changes in the law curtailing sources of income.
The reaction by many firms has been to reduce head count, borrow more from financial institutions and cut investment in people and infrastructure. In some cases, merger talks are now underway as firms look to pool resources and drive efficiency from within their business.
Finally, pressure is building on senior partners, who have often been the ‘work-getters’, to win more work; however, their networks are becoming depleted as many sources of referrals have left the professional community, either through career changes or early retirement.
So the answers are cost-cutting borrowing more, reducing earnings, merging and putting more pressure on the senior partners to bring in more work; but these strategies in isolation are only short-term fixes and do not address the heart of the problem – the ‘heart’ being your people.
Do you really know what motivates them? What are their hidden talents? What is the culture you have created and is it still fit for purpose in this ever-changing landscape? is your financial management up-to-scratch? Is your gearing of staff to partners appropriate? Are you really investing in the medium-term or just looking to restore income for partners? Some heavy questions for any management team to answer truthfully.
But who can you discuss your concerns and thoughts with? Often a managing partner’s position is a lonely place as they look for fixes to issues they have never had to address in the past.
Our specialist legal practices’ group works with many firms across the North West, assisting them in the design and implementation of strategies and are more than aware of the challenges practices face and solutions that are available to them. The common thread in these strategies are generally around empowering terms and creating a new culture that meets the challenges of the future.View all insights