The Perfect Law Firm – Part 6

13 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…

Would you immediately start with a low-cost operation in the regions or overseas?

John Schorah (managing partner at Weightmans) – “The main drivers have to be what does the client want and where are we best sourcing the people to deliver what the client wants… You would have to find other reasons [to go overseas] beyond the desire to reduce cost.”

Michael Chissick (managing partner of Fieldfisher) – “I’d try and keep costs lows as clients want better value legal support. But I’m not a fan of running stuff from cheaper countries… The secret to success is collaboration… If you operate purely on a cost basis you miss out on productivity.”

Guy Stobart (CEO of Kennedys) – “It depends on what markets you are serving.”

Tim Eyles (managing partner at Taylor Wessing) – “[It depends on] what kind of legal services you are trying to supply and what the nature is of your client base.”

 

Many law firms fight against the idea of a “low cost” structure. They don’t want to be seen as a production operation because it is important to them that what they do is perceived as complex.

It is complex but it is also replicable.

John Schorah is right when he says that headline cost is not the only factor because setting up production units in the North or overseas introduces elements of complexity and cost of their own.

The challenge here is to look at what you do and ask the question “does it have to be done this way? Is their an easier (and cheaper way) to deliver the service?”

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Part 7 looks at business services and support. How far could the 21st century law firm push the outsourcing model?