06 Nov 2014

Bob Dell of Latham & Watkins: “True Leaders Put Firm Before Self”

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | November 5, 2014 “When you end up killing one of your men, you see, you tell yourself it happened so you could save the lives of two or three or ten others. Maybe a hundred others … that’s how you rationalize making the choice between the mission and the man.” Captain Miller – Saving Private Ryan In Saving Private Ryan, the fictitious Captain Miller—played by Tom Hanks—was a former school teacher that, […]

24 Oct 2014

Joseph Shenker of Sullivan & Cromwell, On Standing The Test Of Time

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | October 23, 2014 “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.”  Theodore Roosevelt Where the professional or corporate institution is concerned, stewardship theory seeks to explain how and why […]

09 Sep 2014

Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, On The Evolution Of Legal Consumers

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | September 8, 2014 A review of BigLaw’s history proves a somewhat obvious, but when viewed through a certain lens, sobering matter: client lifetime value (CLV) is exceedingly high. This sword has two edges. Preceding the last 10-15 years, the asymmetry of information between the legal consumer and provider was so large that most-if-not-all major consumers heavily relied on relationships to decide upon, and value, legal purchases. The gap has narrowed in recent […]

21 Aug 2014

Ed Newberry Of Squire Patton Boggs: ‘Law Firms That Change Will Survive And Thrive’

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | August 20, 2014 “The old lion is dead.” These were the words Archie Roosevelt sent along to notify his siblings of Teddy’s passing. Nothing else was to be said, as in looking back over his life, even a million more words and gallons of miraculin could not have turned the bitterness of the moment. A politician, author, naturalist, explorer, historian, and police commissioner, Roosevelt left behind a legacy that few men have since […]

14 Aug 2014

Peter Kalis Of K&L Gates, On Mergers, Management, And BigLaw’s Future

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | August 13, 2014 In their book, Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards, authors Bert Cannella, Sydney Finkelstein and Donald Hambrick discuss, among other things, the concept of firm expansion. From a managerialist perspective, they conclude that many CEOs seek to maximize firm size because, quite simply, it is much more controllable than just about anything else in their wheelhouse, including profits, increasing market share, and the […]

07 Aug 2014

Joff Mitchell Of Zolfo Cooper: ‘My Advice To Law Firms Is To Get Your House In Order’

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | August 6, 2014 In June of this year, Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs consummated the largest law firm merger of 2014, creating the 21st largest law firm in the world: Squire Patton Boggs. And while conducting a merger of this size is certainly noteworthy, the boot camp that Patton Boggs partook prior to walking down the aisle can be considered legendary. Along with shedding significant weight in the form of under-producing partners, […]

05 Aug 2014

Al Togut of Togut, Segal, On Avoiding Law Firm Bankruptcies

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | August 4, 2014 Unless you are a high-profile bankruptcy attorney, you probably haven’t heard of Al Togut. A man known more for his actions than his words, he founded a bankruptcy boutique in 1980—Togut, Segal & Segal LLP—and has since established himself as one of the bankruptcy world’s Magnus Apollos. In fact, even if you don’t know his name, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve certainly heard of some of […]

31 Jul 2014

Antoine Bethea Of The San Francisco 49ers: A Veteran’s Perspective On Financial Pressures In The NFL

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | July 30, 2014 Antoine Bethea: Entering his ninth season in the NFL, the 5’ 11″, 206-pound safety has recorded 95+ tackles each year since 2008, is a two-time Pro Bowl strong safety, and a former Super Bowl Champion (while playing with the Indianapolis Colts). Oh, did I mention that he hasn’t missed a start in over 6 years? Lastly, and perhaps most relevant to this piece, he just signed a 4-year, $21.5M […]

29 Jul 2014

Dee Ford Of The Kansas City Chiefs: An NFL Rookie’s Perspective On Financial Pressures

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | July 28, 2014 Dee Ford: 6’ 2”, 252-pounds. As the 23rd overall draft pick, he ran a 4.54-forty, performed a 40.5 inch vertical, and bench pressed 225-pounds 29 times at his pro day. He also completed his 2013 season at Auburn with 10.5 sacks, despite missing two games with a sprained knee. And if that isn’t enough to impress you, he is an accomplished pianist.  Dee Ford is about as far from […]

22 Jul 2014

Larry Watanabe of Watanabe Nason, On The Lateral Attorney’s Perspective

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | July 21, 2014 The lateral legal partner market is as active as it has ever been. Though the Dow Jones is pulsing at a feverish pace, drawing smiles and cheers from investors, the ever-conservative legal minds of the BigLaw community aren’t so easily comforted. Legal consumers are continuing to apply fee pressures; work, though still flowing steadily, is threatened by LPOs and ABSs; despite best efforts, de-equitizations and financial gymnastics are frequent-enough. […]