Definitely Mabey

Current thinking of U.S. small to mid-size firms (Canadian standards)

The Managing Partner Forum 2013 Leadership Conference was last month in Atlanta. The conference was hosted by John Remsen Jr., president and CEO of The Managing Partner Forum. Karen MacKay of Phoenix Legal and I were fortunate enough to be part of the faculty. Approximately 75 participants from 65 law firms (no Canadian firms attended) participated in the daylong session that began with an address by Aric Press, vice president and editor-in-chief of American Lawyer Media. While Press' presentation was very well done, the most memorable quote for me was about alternative fee arrangements, which he described as "the slowest damn revolution he has ever seen."

Stephen Mabey Author

The rough demographics of the firms attending were:

  • Less than 20 lawyers: 13 per cent
  • 20-40 lawyers: 33 per cent
  • 41-75 lawyers: 30 per cent
  • 76-150 lawyers: 15 per cent
  • More than 150 lawyers: eight per cent

The managing partners were almost split in the length of time they had been in the role with 43 per cent having been in the position less than two years and 45 per cent having been managing partner for six or more years.

The participants' responses to two questions about 2013 and 2014 reinforced the belief it is a good time to be a small to medium-sized firm. When asked about 2013 so far they responded it was:

• Much better than expected. We had a very good year so far: 21 per cent
• About what we expected. A relatively good year: 44 per cent
• Ok, but not where we want to be: 27 per cent
• Not good at all. It's been a tough year: eight per cent

And when asked about 2014 they were similarly optimistic, responding as follows:

The rest of this article is available in Stephen Mabey's new Book

Book Cover - Leading and Managing a Sustainable Law Firm - Tactics & Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Profession by Stephen Mabey

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Until next month, as Rhonda Byrne is reported as having said:

"To attract money, you must focus on wealth. It is impossible to bring more money into your life when you are noticing you do not have enough, because that means you are thinking thoughts that you do not have enough.”

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First Published in Canadian Lawyer June 2013. Copyright © Applied Strategies Inc.

Legal Strategy Consultant