It’s time for law firms to get down to business – Graham Huntley comments in The Times Raconteur

By Graham Huntley

Founding Partner Graham Huntley comments in The Times Raconteur’s special report on Legal Innovation, published 29th June 2016, and discusses Signature Litigation’s alternative business structure (ABS) and profit sharing model.


It’s time for law firms to get down to business

“Implementing management efficiencies may seem daunting, but law firms have much to gain, not least growth and profits, from a more “professional” approach to business.

Lawyers are good at law. It’s what they study, practise and love. But it’s not enough. To run a successful practice lawyers need to be great at marketing, management and financial planning as well as technology. Here is where the profession struggles.

So what are the best ways law firms can rethink how they run their operation? Surely even the slickest outfit could find something new to implement…

Alternative business models

Without a traditional equity partnership approach new thinking can be brought to issues such as profit-sharing. Signature Litigation is a new firm created with a company-wide profit share in mind. Founder Graham Huntley says: “The traditional partnership reserves all of the upside in good years for the owners of the firm, the partners. The Signature model is better because it starts from the proposition that everybody has a direct financial interest in making every year ‘good’. This generates high levels of productivity in the right way.”

A profit-sharing model may also induce non-legal specialists to stay with a firm. When artificial intelligence algorithms dominate case management what model will attract top talent from Silicon Valley? Equity partnerships will need to reflect on that question.

Marketing offers light relief from the rigours of the law, especially public relations. Lawyers often enjoy giving their opinion on issues of the day, for legal journals or newspaper supplements in The Times. And yet many firms are pretty terrible at PR, says Melissa Davis, former head of media at the Law Society and now managing director of MD Communications…”

Read the full article on the Raconteur website here.

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