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People are our key assets - really?

There is little debate surrounding the importance of people to professional service firms – they are essential, the most important assets in a service-led business. Many law firms, however, are still failing to use the right management and leadership strategies to ensure that they motivate and retain their staff. Robert Halton, director of human resources at DLA, assesses the mistakes and explains how law firms should be managing their HR strategy.

Control of working capital: Every managing partner’s nightmare?

Billing and cash collection are essential components of the successful business. Law firms, however, have a long history of getting it wrong due to a lack of fee-earner accountability and a piecemeal approach to the billing process. Laurence Harris, chief executive at D J Freeman, examines the steps his firm has taken to streamline and control the firm’s working capital.

White & Case in global shake-up

Partners at White & Case could face de-equitisation as part of a strategic review aimed at tripling client revenue to $160m (£99.8m).

Why some law firms are more successful than others

Why is it that some law firms, ostensibly operating in the same sector and providing much the same services, in much the same way, do better than others? In this article, Stephen Mayson, a professor at Nottingham Law School and consultant on legal practice, identifies the underlying factors that might explain these relative differences.

Client power: A lesson in the harsh realities of life

Law firms rarely receive much sympathy during recession where cut-backs and an image of money-hungry lawyers appear an incongruous match. Michael Simmons, a partner at Finers Stephens Innocent and a consultant on professional practice problems, argues that legal spend is often the first casualty in an economic downturn where clients are eager to cut costs to sustain their own profitability. With firms left out in the cold, how can lawyers hope to survive the hard times?

Law firm profile: Bevan Ashford EPL

Despite the economic uncertainties of recent months, Bevan Ashford has enjoyed a particularly successful year with profits per equity partner up by 41 per cent (The Legal Business 100, 2002, published in Legal Business, September 2002). Caroline Poynton talks to Simon Rous, managing partner at Bevan Ashford’s EPL profit centre, about the firm’s successes and challenges and about how his own career has developed during his 17 years with the firm.

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