The Perfect Law Firm – Part 4

6 Nov 2014

If today’s law firm leaders could start again and rebuild the perfect the law firm, what would they do differently? The Lawyer asked several of today’s biggest legal names this very question and this is a summary of what they said…

Is full service still viable or is boutique the way forward?

Susan Bright (London managing partner of Hogan Lovells) – “Many clients like the opportunity to provide a full service.”

John Scorah (managing partner at Weightmans) – “Full service is viable if it is structured, coordinated and firm orientated but not if it is purely aimed at income growth.”

Andrew Tucker (group CEO of Irwin Mitchell) – “It’s not about the types of service, it’s about the quality and putting clients first… we believe offering a breadth of services is a strength.”

Christopher Mills (COO of Schillings) – “This will depend on your strategy and how you intend to stand out in the marketplace.”

Michael Chissick (managing partner of Fieldfisher) – “The world has moved on from full-service firms.”


If all law firms are full service and they all offer the same services in the same way with similar quality then how does the Client decide who to use?

They either pick the lawyer they like best or they buy on price.

Neither is good news for a law firm.

The reality is most firms are not full service. They do not provide everything to everyone.

The challenge is to break away from “full service” thinking and to think instead about what they can do well. Neither Hogan Lovells nor Weightmans are full service firms and never could be. So why talk about it?

Firms need to focus on their strengths. What they do well or could do well.

That could be a wide range of things or a narrow focus.

As Christopher Mills says they need to “stand out in the market place”.

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Part 5 looks at presence. How would a top London law firm’s head office be different if they were starting up today?