Friday, November 21, 2008

Globalization of Law Practice - III

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

Peter Kalis, of K&L Gates.  Interesting.  Very similar to my own beginnings.  Kirkpatrick & Lockhart was a 80 person firm in Pittsburgh; my firm Dykema was a 100 person firm in Detroit in the late 1970s.  K&L Gates is now 1,700 lawyers in 28 countries.

He's talking about how odd law firm management and leadership is.  Leaders of the firm kind of accede to their positions.  Mature profession/industry; "elevator assets;" the differentiators are people, brand, technology, and management.  Scale and scope matter.

In financial performance among big law firms, bigger is better.  If you want to run with the big dog, you have to be in London, Paris, Brussels, Hong Kong.  Top 50 firms have more offices there than in Los Angeles.

The mother ship and satellite model is changing.  US firms really have a three continent strategy; not clear that the UK firms do (with their limited number of US outposts).  The percentage of work originated in one office and performed in another is increasing and that's what drives innovation.

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