Choice point: Tackle this law firm profit problem or go for a surf

With the march of technology, law firms face a profit problem if two trends persist.

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BigLaw partnerships’ productivity lesson for big corporates

BigLaw partnerships’ productivity lesson for big corporates was first published by Joel Barolksy, a prolific contributor to Dialogue, as Law firm partnerships could give BHP a productivity lesson, an opinion piece published in the Australian Financial Review on 6 September 2019.

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Stop trying to differentiate your firm

I published a shorter version of Stop trying to differentiate your firm in The Australian Financial Review on 3 May 2019 and later the full text as on my blog, Relationship Capital.

Editor: Joel provocative opening paragraph struck a nerve: “99% of Australia’s full-service law firms have a strategy based on seeking clear market differentiation. In my view, they’re largely wasting their time and money.” So it’s a pleasure to bring the full text to readers of Dialogue.

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The accountants re-enter legal. Meh!

There are countless articles on the threat of the Big 4 re-entering the legal market. Yes, they’re cashed-up, capable and well-connected, but I don’t think it will be as smooth a road for them as many are predicting. A deeper analysis suggests there are six factors that will limit their growth.

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A professional services value chain

Michael Porter’s famous value chain did NOT have me at hello. I’ve never found it a particularly valuable tool in crafting professional service firm strategy. Most firms don’t talk about “Inbound and Outbound Logistics” or have “Procurement” as a major support function. Distinguishing between “Operations” and “Service” in a service business is just plain confusing.

In the spirit of further developing the theory of the professional service firm, here’s my go at a professional services value chain…

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