I recently read about a General Counsel breathing a sigh of relief regarding his ability to navigate the new economic reality by securing 25% discounts on hourly rates from his outside counsel. That sounds good, but there are two things that should temper that sigh of relief. First, it is not sustainable. At some point,
Heck of a title for a post about litigation, isn’t it? Bear with me for a few paragraphs and my point will be clear. I promise.
Before I go further, ask yourself why you don’t outsource problem solving for your own problems. Have you ever thought about going up to a random stranger and asking…
Kirk Bowman has become one of the leading voices on value billing. Kirk produces the “Art of Value” podcast. He has interviewed an range of people who have offered so many great ideas on value, pricing and billing, including Ed Kless, Michele Golden, Peter Carayannis, the great Ron Baker, John Chisholm, and so…
Make sure your outside law firm has a good (and consistent) answer when ask the lawyers how the firm has changed its handling of litigation as a result of the economic upheaval of the past several years. If they are handling things "the way it has always been done before," ask yourself how you…
Have you ever had one of those days where you planned things out, worked off a checklist and really accomplished a lot? Congratulations, you’ve just provided evidence of how project management works and why it is so important. In the value world, project management is as important a tool as a hammer is to a carpenter. Need to learn more? Here’s a partial list of law-related project management resources.
I can’t explain why any better than by my friend Anthony Kearns in this
Jeff Carr, the General Counsel of FMC Technologies, recently discussed the relationship between his department’s legal spend and his company’s earnings per share. In days when even a penny or two of increased EPS can positively influence share value, thinking about legal spend in the light of EPS really changes the focus. Each law firm should be cognizant of what it costs the company by this metric, and in-house lawyers should be thinking of this metric when focusing on what type of fee structure to utilize and what firm to engage.
In hospitals, they call it the "July effect." A recent study, described on NPR, shows that more people die of medical mistakes in July than any other month in hospitals. Not all hospitals, just teaching hospitals where a new crop of residents begin to learn how to be a real doctor every July. There is now proof that when it comes to doctors, experience matters. Does anyone doubt the same is true for lawyers?
Read Lessons From Private Equity Any Company Can Use (Memo to the CEO) by Orit Gadiesh and Hugh Macarthur. Gadiesh is the Chair of Bain and Company and Macarthur is a partner with the firm. They know private equity, and in this book they explain the simple rules that must be followed to extract maximum value from any operation, including a law department or a law firm. Here are the rules:
1. Define full potential.
2. Develop the blueprint.
3. Accelerate the performance.
4. Harness the talent.
5. Make equity sweat.
6. Foster a result-oriented mindset.
Does anyone really doubt that private equity would handle a law department or a law firm a bit differently?
Much has been said about John Wooden since his recent death. But two things John Wooden said have really stuck with me since I first heard them many years ago, and they are cornerstones of a value practice.
"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
"If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
The planning part of what we do is frequently given short shrift in favor of frenzied execution. Execution of what is rarely considered. Consider it. Learn from John Wooden.