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Law Firm Management: Operating a multinational law firm

  • MARY K YOUNG, Partner, Zeughauser Group, Washington D.C.
    Moving the Global Law Firm Through a Challenging Economy: Focus on Strategy
  • DAVID SYED, Senior Partner - Europe, Orrick, Paris
    Changing Supply & Demand for Global Legal Services: The Multi-polar Dynamic
  • JOHN H. STOUT, Partner, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis
    The Fulfilled International Lawyer: Advice for a Successful Career
  • ADAM SMITH, General Counsel, EADS Defence & Security, Munich
    Laws are Local: How Can Corporate Legal Services Become More Global?
  • HELENA SAMAHA, General Counsel EMEA, AlixPartners, Paris
    Transcending Legal Expertise to Get to the Heart of Serving Global Clients
  • THOMAS J. SABATINO, Jr., Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Schering-Plough Corporation, New Jersey
    Musical Chairs: How Today’s General Counsel Earns a Seat at the Top Executive Table
  • NORM RUBENSTEIN, Partner, Zeughauser Group, Washington D.C.
    The Key to Credible International Branding
  • JOLENE OVERBECK, Chief Marketing Officer, DLA Piper, New York City
    Moving the Global Law Firm Through a Challenging Economy: Focus on Strategy
  • MICHAEL O’NEILL, SVP and General Counsel, Lenovo Corporation, Washington D.C.
    Fit for Global: Operating Tenets for the General Counsel
  • MARY MULLALLY, Head of Networks, Practical Law Company, London
    How Corporate Counsel in the UK and Europe are Changing, and the Key Elements of Success
  • DEBORAH MCMURRAY, CEO and Strategy Architect, Content Pilot LLC, Dallas
    LAW FIRM 4.0: Considerations for the Global Law Firm in 2020
  • CHRIS MARSHALL, Pro Bono & Community Manager, Reed Smith and Chair, Board of Trustees, Advocates for International Development, London
    International Pro Bono – Broadening our Geographical Reach
  • BRUCE MacEWEN, Founder, “Adam Smith Esq.,”, New York City
    Re-thinking Your Global Strategy: Geography, Talent and Management
  • DESPINA KARTSON, Chief Marketing Officer, Latham & Watkins LLP, New York City
    The Role of Law Firm Values in Successful Global Expansion
  • PETER KALIS, Chairman and Global Managing Partner, K&L Gates LLP, New York City
    The Signature Legal Challenge of the 21st Century
  • ALAN JENKINS, Chairman, Eversheds LLP, London
    Understanding the Importance of Culture in Managing a Global Law Firm
  • FADI HAMMADEH, General Counsel, Dubai Properties Group, Dubai
    The Regulatory Pendulum Worldwide: Where are we Headed?
  • ANN LEE GIBSON, Ann Lee Gibson Consulting, West Plains, Missouri
    Feels Like 1990 All Over Again: Law Firm Economic Cycles
  • TIM S. GLASSETT, Former General Counsel, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Beverly Hills, CA
    Building and Motivating a High-Performing Global Legal Team
  • ROSS FISHMAN, CEO, Fishman Marketing, Highland Park, Illinois
    Focus: The Benefits of a Narrow Scope in the Face of Global Opportunity
  • JAN EIJSBOUTS, former General Counsel, Akzo Nobel, Amsterdam
  • E. LEIGH DANCE, President, ELD International, Inc., New York and Rome
    Introduction and European Counsel Must Improve Compliance
  • BRUNO COVA, Partner, Paul Hastings, Milan
    Reflections on Moving Inside to Outside, and European Counsel Must Improve Compliance
  • JEFFREY CARR General Counsel, FMC Technologies, Houston
    Building a Better Legal Service Delivery System
  • PETER J. BESHAR EVP and General Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies, New York City
    Living Through a Corporate Crisis and Preparing for What Might Come Next
  • DEREK BENTON Director of International Operations, Lexis-Nexis Martindale-Hubbell, London
    Lawyers Network Differently as the World Grows Flatter

Skillful law firm management is required for global law firm growth

Law firm management is viewed differently now than 15 years ago.  Gary Senior, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie in London, says (in Simon Slater’s Bright Ideas chapter) of law firm management:  “Partners have moved their stance on leadership and law firm management from reticence to recognition to acceptance to requirement!  People now expect direction and guidance.  Firms have gone from being unmanaged (and unmanageable) to being managed professionally.” 

Global expansion has underscored the importance of law firm management.  Sir Nigel Knowles, Joint Chief Executive of DLA Piper, said of the firm’s Middle East growth, “It takes strong leadership and courage.  Global law firm leaders are now acting just like leaders in other spheres of commerce.  There’s been a coming of age in terms of law firm management.”  Peter Kalis, Chairman and Global Managing Partner of K&L Gates, believes that the law firm management challenge of our times is:  “Align your business with the businesses of clients and potential clients in an era of intense globalization and consolidation, or risk the peril of obsolescence.” 

According to Alan Jenkins, Chairman of Eversheds, effective global law firm management requires understanding the importance of culture.  “It is an integral part of building a successful firm in which the rich diversity of talent amongst the lawyers and staff finds its natural outlets regardless of ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.” Jenkins’ law firm management pointers include:  recruit for attitude; treat cultural awareness as an integral part of the way to do things; train people, and having law firm management set the example.

Despina Kartson, Chief Marketing Officer of Latham & Watkins, comments in her Bright Ideas chapter on values and successful global law firm expansion, that one of the management traditions at Latham is to move people from existing offices to new offices.  “The transport the cultural elements, translate the concepts to the local environment, and the roots are thus reinforced.” In her essay in Bright Ideas, Helena Samaha comments: “Most law firms have not done a great job of integrating project management and the oversight of multi-jurisdictional work into their current business models, and it does not easily fit into the traditional law firm management, recognition and reward systems.”

Jolene Overbeck and Mary K Young write about the crucial element of strategic planning in global law firm management.  “For global firms a strategic plan is essential because the challenges and opportunities have many more dimensions:  more markets, more clients, more talent, more leaders and more practices.”  One of the choices they believe must be made is “what types of leadership and law firm management structures are necessary to implement the firm’s plans across geography, practices and functions.”

Want to learn more about global law firm management? Get your copy of Bright Ideas: Insights from Legal Luminaries Worldwide today!


Profits from Bright Ideas book sales will go to Advocates for International Development, an international pro bono organization.  www.A4ID.org

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