The Perfect Law Firm – Part 8

20 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…

In the future, which parts of business services will be genuinely on a par with partners and why?

Guy Hinchley (managing partner and Mills and Reeve) – “They will all eventually be regarded as being on a par. This is because they are the heads of departments in large successful businesses.”

John Schorah (managing partner at Weightmans) – “Many parts of business services are already generally on a par with partners… as they often add as much value as the traditional legal work.”

Susan Bright (London managing partner of Hogan Lovells) – “the input of people in key leadership positions is invaluable”

Richard Masters (head of client operations Pinsent Masons) – “It’s not possible to deliver [top quality client service] without really top quality business support.”

Christopher Mills (COO of Schillings) – “I don’t think we could be as efficient as we are if risk and compliance, marketing or finance weren’t part of the core team.”


It appears all the legal experts had the same view, they do believe that business service roles are on par with partners.

The problem is that they don’t all do it in practice.

Law firms are people businesses. The quality of their own people is paramount to the ability to deliver to and for clients.

So how many law firms have their Head of HR on the main board? Even more tellingly how many firms have a head of HR good enough to contribute on the main board?

How many firms have the Heads of HR, marketing, Finance and IT on the website alongside the Partners?

Some do but many don’t.

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Part 9, which is the final chapter, will be released next week and is related to the future.