Articles

Supporting the Support Teams

Even in the best of times some support functions in many law firms suffer from a downplaying of their value by their lawyer colleagues simply because their teams are not [...]
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Is now a good time to become a lawyer?

To read some lawyers’ contributions to the legal blogs you might be forgiven for thinking that becoming a lawyer today was not the shrewdest career choice one could make. It [...]
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Open Source Law?

There is a phenomenon in the world of systems development and software that might just have the most enormous impact on the future of legal services. As we all know [...]
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Lessons to Learn

Some very notable minds down the ages have suggested that “the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history”…At this time particularly this seems [...]
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Does size matter so much?

There is much talk around the world of consolidation in legal services; the globalisation strategies of some high profile law firms is mimicked by firms in individual countries and across [...]
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Networking – Give more, seek less

We ran a networking event recently in a regional centre far, far away from the capital city…we thought lawyers would be pleased to have an opportunity to meet friends and [...]
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In less than one hundred words

I received an innocuous little message the other day… “Can you please tell us what you do in less than one hundred words?” It was for a law firm’s newsletter [...]
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Changing the Way We Change

No New Year is complete without a thought to introducing some change into our lives… it might be personal (I will try to lose the weight I lost once before [...]
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Mind the gap…

Talking to one City law firm partner the other day I was left a little nonplussed by an assertion of economic hardship? ?You would not believe? he said ?how hard [...]
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The Perception Conundrum

In the UK just now we are in the middle of the holiday season. When I was a child I very fondly remember my summers as warm, sunny, full of [...]
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The Power of Brand

If you are not into marketing then the notion of rebranding can seem like a vacuous and pointless expense. As the old (adapted) joke goes: ?How do you make a [...]
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Out of my depth

I was having a coffee the other day with an in-house lawyer new into her first role; she was interesting and thoughtful and her conversation was engaging and full of [...]
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Grumpy Old Lawyers

Is it me? Or will there come a time in everyone’s life when ranting at the television becomes normal behaviour? Almost every day now I find myself becoming agitated at [...]
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Animal Farm 2007

?I ache all over? said the old badger. ?I ache so much, it hurts to breathe? ?Oh dear? said the young fox ?whatever have you done?? ?He has done nothing [...]
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Lawyers’ Labours Lost

Seeing into the future therefore for legal services and the legal profession is similarly constraining? We can all have a vague, speculative thought about legal services becoming ?quicker, easier, cheaper?? [...]
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Communication’s Holy Grail

When I was six years old I was told that if I played with my tummy button my bottom would fall off?That message was delivered to me some forty years [...]
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Let them eat chocolates!

Cue the Ambassador?s residence, a dinner party for glamorous and sophisticated people, soft lights, romantic music, and a beautiful young woman approaches her impossibly handsome host ?Ahh Mr Ambassador you [...]
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Simple and Focussed.

There is an old line about the inexact science of marketing? The apocryphal Marketing Director declares that at least half of the money spent on marketing is fantastically successful ? [...]
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Thought Leader

In business we are constantly told that change is inevitable, ?adapt or die? slogans are bandied around and there is a whole industry of publishers, presenters and consultants with clever [...]
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Change on the way for law firms

In the olden days it was all so straightforward. The young tyro worked hard at law school, secured a good training contract, worked like a pit pony for a few [...]
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Brave New World

?We live in such a fast paced competitive world. We have to earn every pound we invoice – sometimes more than every pound – and client loyalty is barely a [...]
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Being a Great Communicator

There is an old joke about consultants – they know at least one hundred ways to make love to a beautiful woman? the problem is that they do not know [...]
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The Terror Threat

The inconvenience caused to our daily lives is managed ? it would be churlish to grumble after all, but the sense of fear is palpable and I resent that very [...]
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Life, the universe and your lawyer

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, one theory is now famously established; it is that the answer to “Life the Universe and Everything” is 42. This, as I am [...]
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Leaping Forward

“I’ve got a great idea” said the bright young thing. “It’s brilliant in its simplicity, clever in its concept and cannot fail to succeed”. Then the idea died; stopped dead [...]
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Gone Shopping

The Chinese have an old saying, “One cannot stand still in a moving river”. And not only is change a fact of life for us all, it is also the [...]
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The road to in-house success

I am sure you are all aware of a book written a few years ago by Stephen Covey called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”… Over years the company [...]
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Client Side Up

Finding a law firm that thinks it needs advice on the better management of client relationships is like trying to find a man who will admit to being a bad [...]
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Coupe or not Coupe

Too often what we really want eludes us and what we get is a compromise. The job, the house, the car and, dare I say, in personal relationships as well. [...]
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It’s the thought that counts

As a small boy, one phrase that was indelibly impressed on to my consciousness at this post Christmas time of year was “It is the thought that counts”. It was [...]
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Why lawyers rubbish in bed… probably

Your attention momentarily grabbed by this perhaps alarming headline, I’must first make clear (particularly to Lisa my partner) that I have not slept with any lawyers when researching this article. [...]
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Putting your house in order

“I am just not cut out to do marketing” So said one partner of one of the larger law firms in the UK to me not so long ago. “I [...]
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For Goodness Sake

The law is a subject that evokes a number of stereotypical images. Some images are driven by television and film, others by the print journalists…some follow our own experiences and [...]
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Taking Stock

As the song says “There may be trouble ahead….” But what about for in-house lawyers in 2004? Well, while I predict plenty of “moonlight”, I suspect there may be very [...]
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Have you been Enron-ed?

Once upon a time in-house lawyers were thought to have a cushy number…nine to five, nice office, nice pension and if anything tricky came along they could always outsource it. [...]
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A timebomb waiting to explode

Last month the Legal Director Benchmarker survey revealed clients’ growing concern over the levels of fees charged by law firms. It is time, writes Paul Gilbert, for in-house lawyers to [...]
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Untitled

Your career as a solicitor might last thirty-five, even forty years. That is an awfully long time and must seem a daunting prospect when standing at the start line wondering [...]
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Thoughts from the bottom line

Somewhere in the City It was October 2003 and I overheard a conversation in the staff canteen of a well regarded law firm in the City of London. “It’s a [...]
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Reform Debate

In most important debates there will be several different points of view all of which will have some validity. People hold to their particular view for a variety of reasons: [...]
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Forum

“Daddy, what job do you do?” “I’m a solicitor sweetheart” “Oh…what’s one of those?” “A solicitor is someone who helps people” “Like the lollypop lady at school, or like a [...]
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Give us a break

The Chinese have a saying “You cannot stand still in a moving river”. It will evoke a familiar feeling for in-house lawyers everywhere. The dynamics of the business world today [...]
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Forum

The Law Society, so the perception goes, is out of touch, irrelevant to the vast majority of solicitors and their firms and generally just not very good. The Big Question [...]
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A Call to Arms

In-house lawyers should be a hugely influential constituency whose voice should carry enormous weight. But, says Paul Gilbert, their response to date to changes in the legal profession has been [...]
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I have a dream?

“I’m sorry, did you say it was an elephant?” “No, I said it was irrelevant” …I really do hesitate to write this piece… just how many times can someone write [...]
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Resolve to Evolve

With their antiquated business practices and lack of customer service, are law firms in danger of being left behind? Paul Gilbert says that it’s definitely time for a revolution. People [...]
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Make More Money – Now!

Every now and again I find myself driving along the A40 into London pondering the unpalatable thought that unless my alarm goes off at 3am I really will spend years [...]
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