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Nowadays the legal marketplace for smaller firms can feel like a Darwinian life-or-death battle: adapt or perish. Since the ‘Great Recession’, it has become an unforgiving world where time-honoured truths have morphed into old shibboleths. Not to mention the biggest challenge of all: the economic cycle which churns on relentlessly like nature’s cycle of life, whatever the size of your firm.
But despite the doom and the gloom, many independent law firms are doing well. Indeed, a lot are not just surviving but thriving.
The recent report from LexisNexis, ‘The Art of Success: Why Independent Law Firms are Thriving’ shows how much smaller firms have become more business-savvy in recent years. Often, success in these areas has come about after these firms have adopted and adapted best practice from larger firms.
As the report shows, good staff morale is within the top three most important things that smaller firms value. One way Big Law
firms have discovered to keep fee-earners happy and engaged is by appointing workflow allocation managers. A number of larger firms, from Clifford Chance, who started the trend in 2012, to many other top 50 firms have appointed such managers
to ensure they allocated work ‘blindly’.
I must admit, when I first learnt of this position it s
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