Lawyers constantly remind their clients about the need to develop succession, estate and retirement plans for the day when they either pass the torch to the next generation or prepare their business for sale. But when it comes to succession planning at their own firms, they often ignore their own advice. The most valuable asset a lawfirm has — its clients — can often get lost in the shuffle when a firm fails to plan for an orderly transition of lawyer-client relationships from one generation to the next.While there are other important aspects that need to be considered in the firm’s succession plan (see “Developing blueprints for the future” on page 4), the transition of clients is, by far, the most critical.
Retreats enable partners to get to know each other and discuss firm issues in a relaxed set- ting without the typical office distractions. You don’t need to travel far or pay for an expensive resort — retreats can be convened in a meeting room at a nearby hotel. the important thing is to maintain a collegial environment and encour- age constructive discussion.
We bet on ‘efficiency’ as the one theme that will dominate the next decade. No economic activity can maintain a model that rewards inefficiency, and certainly not an activity that is becoming increasingly strategic. We believe law firms will have no other choice but to become much more efficient than they are today. At some point, urgency will make law firms change. And urgency will come with the number of lawyers and clients stepping out of the system reaching a critical level. Associate attrition and companies like Cisco climbing the barricades might very well be the first symptoms of something deeper. DuPont has changed the way companies select law firms. Something similar can happen again.
2. Opportunity. This can result from inad- equate internal accounting controls, poor employee oversight or ineffective audits. In law firms, partners typically have the greatest opportunity to perpetrate fraud because they usually operate with more autonomy and may be in positions to override internal controls. Their direct client contact may allow them to detect client suspicions and head them off by diverting funds and replenishing clients’ accounts. For example, litigators can divert settlement funds, and real estate partners might divert sale or mortgage proceeds.
80 Information Services Director—An individual who plans, manages and directs the overall technology and information systems of the organization. Increasingly, communications and library functions are coming within the individual’s responsibility. Duties consist of planning, budgeting, research and development, as well as, the supervision of primarily exempt/non-exempt staff directly involved in this activity. The individual directs such activities as applications development/support and training at a firm and practice area level. Incumbents generally have five or more years of experience and at least a four-year college degree.
Over the past decade knowledge has been highlighted as the definitive source of competitive advantage (CA) and value for organisations in the new Knowledge Economy (Kong and Thomson 2009; Hartell and Fujimoto 2010). Since the early 1990’s many researchers have discussed the management of knowledge within organisations; prompting the exploration of knowledge creation and management theories (Wikström and Normann 1994). Research has revealed a limited ability for Knowledge Management (KM) frameworks to address the ‘soft’ (human) aspects alongside the ‘hard’ (technological) aspects of knowledge creation and transfer (Leyland 2010). This has called for an emphasis to be placed on the appropriate use of structures and strategies to harness knowledge and technology, in order to stay competitive (Leyland 2010).
contemporary systems. Or some create their own patchwork of separate, unrelated programs in an effort to emulate the comprehensive features case management provides. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, many lack that senior-level “take charge” person who will assume ownership of the project and help both management and staff embrace the new system. Historically, law firms have played a “wait and see” game with breakthrough technology and over-scrutinized the cost recovery of such investments to the point of inaction. That’s no longer an option. The pressures of today’s increasingly competitive environment dictate that law firms view case management as an essential Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which integrates all the business’ important information and processes.
Attorneys are always on the move, facing constant time pressures and dealing with ever- growing volumes of information. That’s why you need productivity tools that can keep up with your accelerating world—while keeping client information safe and confidential. Microsoft Office 365 productivity services can help your firm: • Access case files, email, calendar,
Stock financed deals are generally more complicated because stock prices are affected by market reactions to bid announcements and by subsequent economic news, and are more prone to allegations of market timing when bidder stock prices are overvalued [see Loughran and Vijh (1997)]. Tender offers trigger special bidder obligations and more severe insider trading liability under the Williams Act [see Klein and Coffee (2000)]. A bidder board also requires advice on setting the offer price and justifying its adequacy. Target shareholder gains and target management incentives to be acquired can differ significantly in cash tender offers relative to mergers [see, e.g., Martin and McConnell (1991) and Cotter, Shivdasani and Zenner, (1997)]. Finally, M&A advisors can increase the probability of deal success by negotiating a termination fee, which is paid by the target to the bidder in certain failed bids. Bates and Lemmon (2003) and Officer (2003) report that target termination fee provisions are associated with higher deal completion rates and takeover premia.
lawyers’ work involves creative compliance, which involves lawyers adopting strained and technical interpretations of the law in order to defeat its purposes. The full extent of such activity is unclear, because these activities are shielded from scrutiny by legal professional privilege. 63 Nevertheless there have been occasions when that veil has been pulled aside and creative compliance revealed. For example the charges brought against Standard Chartered Bank by the New York State Department of Financial Services, alleging that the bank had concealed Iranian involvement in financial transactions, relied on the contents of privileged communications. 64 These showed that while the bank’s in-house lawyers and the bank may have hoped that the transactions were technically legal, it was clear that they violated the spirit of the law, and the bank seemed to be indifferent to warnings from outside counsel that the transactions crossed the line of legality. 65 Again, prior to the financial crisis, lawyers
When the DPAD was originally proposed, some industries clearly qualified for the deduction (e.g., auto manufacturing) while others did not (e.g., legal services). Given the limited application of the proposed law, we examine lobbying only in industries in which lobbying appeared to have a realistic chance of lowering tax bills. Subsequently, we exclude Global Industry Classification Standard industries (GICS) that are not likely to have production or development activities that would qualify for the deduction: utilities, transportation, banking, communication, insurance, real estate, trading, and miscellaneous from our sample for 2004. The industries that we retain are also likely to be affected by the repatriation tax; therefore also have incentive to lobby during the 2004 period for the tax holiday. To be consistent across time periods, we also remove the above industries for 2017. 11 Table 2, Panel B, reports the distribution of firm observations across industries for 2004 and 2017.
Our paper has several original features. First, our data set is unique, because it allows us to isolate the effects of law enforcement from the content of the law, exploiting the varying efficiency of Spanish judicial districts in a single legal framework. Spanish rules on credit relations are the same nationwide, but, as we show in the paper, enforcement differs considerably from one judicial district to another. Related papers have mostly used cross-country analyses and measured differences in the content of the law (e.g., La Porta et al. 1997, 1998; La Porta, de Silanes, and Shleifer 1999; Modigliani and Perotti 1997; Kumar, Rajan, and Zingales 1999; Giannetti 2003). An important weakness of cross-country studies is that indicators of judicial inefficiency are strongly negatively correlated with income, and their significance often vanishes when income is controlled for. In our paper, this is not the case. The sample correlation between the length of trials and the level of economic activity by judicial district (measured by per capita GDP) is, if anything, slightly positive, suggesting that more economically developed judicial districts—those with higher income—provide somewhat weaker (rather than stronger) law enforcement. In line with this preliminary finding, all our empirical results are robust to the inclusion of per capita regional income (current and past values, in level or in growth rates). As a consequence, the coefficient of the legal variable does not pick up correlated regional differences in economic factors.
Not only are the volumes of client data growing, but also the concept of Big Data in law firms is starting to take shape. In a recent article written by Joseph Raczynski, Legal Technologist/ Futurist at Thomas Reuters Legal, he states, “Over the course of the next several years, I predict that many law firms will begin hiring data scientists…In fact, the analysis that IBM Watson Analytics puts forth states that most firms estimate that they only analyze 12 percent of their data currently and that 88 percent is left on the dark-grained, bamboo-laden lawfirm floor.”
A graduate of the Air Force Academy and the University of Texas School of Law, Thomas O’Meara is board certified in civil trial and personal injury law. While he relishes fierce legal battle, he is also a much sought-out certified mediator, an accomplished author and a popular public speaker. Recently returned from a mission trip serving on the faculty of the University of Livingstonia in Malawi, Africa, he handles complex real estate, probate and litigation matters, and passes on his extensive knowledge by providing Continuing Legal Education to fellow attorneys and training future lawyers as a professor at Texas State University and Concordia University. A graduate of the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida College of Law with highest honors, having served as a law clerk to the judges of Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals for two years, and joint-licensed in Texas and Florida, Robert Hoofman is a consumate bankruptcy and replevin attorney, much sought-out by both lawyers and financial institutions to represent and counsel with them on these issues. In addition to his success in the courtroom, Robert is an immensely popular public speaker and seminar leader on bankruptcy and foreclosure topics who has co-authored numerous articles on these subjects.
Despite the efforts being made by law schools, it may well be that that those critics who insist on law schools producing “practice ready” lawyers are naïve and unrealistic. As the presenters in this symposium show, some things about law practice must be learned by experience while actually practicing law. Law school externships and clinics help bridge the gap between school and practice, but even these efforts can only produce students who are practice “readier,” not practice “ready.” The professional maturation process to go from law student to “practice ready” lawyer takes time and requires a joint effort between the academy and the bar. The New York City Bar Association is currently developing some exciting pilot programs that may provide a blueprint for helping new lawyers become practice ready. 12 Forward thinking law schools and bar associations across the country will be keeping a close eye on those experiments to see if they work and if they can be transplanted.
…rm size, regarding as large/small …rms those who are located above/below the median level of real sales at any point time. Thus, we re-estimate our quantile regression model for each of the two sub-samples. Figure 4 reports the QTE resulting from this exercise. Notably, when accounting for the growth dynamics of large vs. small …rms, size emerges as an element of moderation of …rm growth, especially to large companies. In fact, the marginal impact of size on the growth of large …rms is always negative, and more so as we move to the right over the spectrum of growth. This evidence signals that reversion to the mean may be faster for large companies. As suggested by strategic management theory, in fact, these companies are often focused on managing scale and e¢ ciency, and their internal hierarchies and routines denote weak adaptation to an evolving competitive environment. Such management practices are hard to be eradicated, especially when they have historically been the basis for success (Reeves and Deimler, 2011).
supervisor ownership and study their effects on firm performance respectively. Second, we collect five years’ panel data of listed companies from 2000 to 2004 as samples and estimate respectively with panel and average models. Third, we control in this paper effects of other variables (for instance, ownership structure, board characteristics, firm sales, etc.) on firm performance. Fourth, two commonly adopted indicators, namely earnings per share (EPS) and return on assets (ROA) are used to measure firm performance. Our empirical results show that firm performance is positively related to the proportion of shares held by top management (including senior managers, board directors, and supervisors).
In the early 1990s, the relationship between buyers of legal services and outside counsel took a dramatic turn. That’s when DuPont rolled out its seminal Legal Model. By reducing its roster of outside counsel by almost 90%, DuPont found that it could control outside and in-house legal costs by securing significant discounts in return for volume and by reducing the size of its legal staff needed to manage so many law firms. Soon, other corporations followed suit. And law firms that were often less than receptive to client requests quickly recognized that a strategic market shift—characteristic of a matured market with an oversupply of providers—was taking place. From now on, the client would be firmly in the driver’s seat.
Reliability test for this questionnaire was done through Cronbachs’ Alpha coefficients. The coefficients range from 0 to 1 and the higher the coefficient, the more reliable the scale. The overall Apha coefficient for the sam- ple was put at recommended value of 0.70 . This value normally indicates an excellent level of internal con- sistency for questionnaire. All the Alpha coefficients for the study were above 0.70. Hence in  words, the research instrument was reliable. Content validity for this study was determined through expert opinion and pilot study. Experts in strategic management who comprised of lecturers and practitioners were given the question- naires to provide their opinion on the suitability of different measures and suggest possible ways of improving the items. A pilot study was carried out before rolling out the main study. After the pilot study, the questionnaire was modified according to the data sets established in EPZs. Data analyzed for this study was collected from 40 firms making 62.5 percent response rate out of the 60 operational firms at the time of the study. Initially 84 firms had been targeted but 24 firms could not be included in the study due to various reasons.
those whose businesses are born-digital. This is a growing client group who naturally expect to do everything they need in the online space. While this initial “proof of concept” work may take place off radar, there is an acknowledgement that larger clients will be paying close attention to these developments. Their procurement functions in particular may look to experiment over time with adopting significantly lower- cost online mechanisms for routine legal work if the same quality of output can be achieved at a greatly reduced cost. The future for new entrants: As with any sector, launching new ventures is fraught with risk, and the likelihood of success is relatively low for any individual start-up. However, some will survive and become profitable. Others may have their functionality emulated and incorporated into existing product offerings by technology suppliers already present in the sector. Law firms may also seek to license or replicate such offerings, cannibalizing existing revenue streams in order to protect client relationships rather than risk losing accounts to a new entrant offering a low-cost solution. A summary of some of the critical challenges and opportunities identified for new entrants is provided here.