Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sean McCann – Art to inspire you and your boardroom, not to be missed.

Journey throgh Landscape ExhibitionI’ve just come back from an exhibition displaying the work of Sean McCann at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, which made a big impact on me and others attending – even including my 13 year old son who began to appreciate for the first time what it takes to produce this quality of work.  With the artist’s agreement, I considered including some images from the 53 paintings on display here, but realised that photos just can’t do them justice.

This collection of landscape paintings has to be seen first hand to be fully appreciated. So if you’re anywhere near Liverpool, Birkenhead and the Wirral, I recommend dropping in here for half an hour to take a look.

This will brighten your day!


Journeys Through Landscape Exhibition - Sean McCann Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes 5 Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes 2 Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes  3 Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes 4




Insights to help lawyers grow and develop a sustainable, successful practice

NatWestUseful to reflect back on these thoughts from Stephen Mayson in October 2011, which are all still very relevant to development of new business strategies for law firms.

At one of Natwest’s thought provoking “Ahead for Business” conferences for lawyers in Manchester,  Stephen Mayson helpfully defined this list of 10 full or partial “Substitutions” that are happening now (with more on the way), which impact on how legal services can and should be delivered today.  It should help to focus your mind on those areas of the current business most legal practices should be tackling pro-actively; although relatively few are yet.

80% of work handled by law firms is NOT “reserved” to solicitors (regardless of the Legal Services Act opening the doors wider to new entrants), so anyone can deliver these services if they want.  With all the options for new entrants to maximise the potential of these substitutions, I believe lawyers now have less than 3 years left to get this new mix right.

I will be incorporating these thoughts in my discussions with lawyers in the future.  By focusing on this list of “substitutions”, you can readily identify where and how your practice could be more pro-active to define your response on each count, aiming to develop the more sustainable business that everyone wants for the future.

  1. Non lawyers for lawyers
  2. IT for human beings; virtual for physical
  3. Referrers for direct client access
  4. New providers for law firms (including legal process outsourcing)
  5. External for internal
  6. Corporate structure for partnerships
  7. Professional managers for gifted amateurs
  8. Differentiated rewards for net profit
  9. Equity for debt; capital for income
  10. Brand for Reputation

Of course none of this is absolute; there is a balance to be achieved in each area that varies on each point for each practice.  Effective implementation of the right mix in response should be the main challenge for management right now.

With Stephen Mayson’s list as a good summary, are you and your colleagues focused on each of these areas of your business to make decisions about how to respond (if at all) on each of them now?

How we support law firms on business strategy >>

£500 Introductory Offer – For legal practices employing up to 50 people >>

Allan Carton

Opportunities for mid size law firms to win new business from in-house counsel.

Harvard Business Review

“GCs are increasingly willing to move high-stakes work away from the most pedigreed law firms … if the value equation is right.”

Interesting research in the US with general counsel there, to put some numbers on the changing attitudes of in-house lawyers toward the lawyers they choose to instruct.  The key points here:

  1. There are opportunities now for mid-size practices to target new business from in-house lawyers – if they focus effectively on their potential to deliver better value.
  2. However – as we also see in the UK – some of the top firms are now focusing on their structure, technology and skills to become more capable of delivering that value – so the gap in mindset and capability to deliver that value is also closing.

This recent US survey of General Counsel at 88 major companies conducted by AdvanceLaw supports this argument.  The results suggest that GCs are increasingly willing to move high-stakes work away from the most pedigreed law firms … if the value equation is right.

Chart - Bad News for Pedigreed firms

Read more in the Harvard Business Review article here >>

Allan Carton

FREE Online Time Zone Converter, Global Meeting Planner and much more – really useful!

timeanddateI’m sure more and more of you find that you are are setting up and getting involved in online meetings (telephone and webconferences) with people located in a variety of time zones around the world.  Personally, these now regularly range from the east and west coasts in the US to India, Australia, South Africa and even South America – in addition to Europe and the Nordic countries.

So this little online tool has been a great point of reference in co-ordinating people at Inpractice UK – and there are a lot of other useful tools here to help with meetings across time zones and travel – all FREE, even if you register for extended tools.

Please check it out here and let me know what you think.

Allan Carton

DOWNLOAD FREE: Legal IT Today, Issue 3

Advert - Inpractice, Improving the performance of our businessThe third issue of Legal IT Today is now available for download.

Top stories include:

  • An interview by Joanna Goodman with Thomson Reuters Elite’s Elisabet Hardy. Main topic is Elite’s new CRM product Premier.
  • Crisitina Libro writes about how to survive and thrive in the new legal services landscape.
  • Legal IT after the billable hour. Alex Hamilton describes what could be a new template for tomorrow’s lawyers.
  • Paul Gilbert offers a six-step of how technology can empower law firms and legal departments.
  • Interview with a Fortune 500 General Counsel about law firm technology from the client’s      perspective.
  • Tracey Stretton writes about the potential of TAR (Technology Assisted Review) to transform e-Discovery from costs to competitive advantage.
  • Web Archiving? A new legal necessity?

Click here to download issue 3 (2013)