21 Apr 2014

Paul Lippe Of Legal OnRamp: Every Legal Department Will Seek To “Cisco-ify” Themselves

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Apr 21, 2014 Do you remember traveling when you were a kid? Were you the one in the back seat with a map—or several—helping your parents navigate and guess where the next Arby’s or Denny’s was? Though the map your father picked up might have gotten you from point A to point B, it did little else. Where was the next gas station? How to actually navigate to Aunt Sally’s? What if […]

08 Apr 2014

Latham’s Robert Dell, Jackson Lewis’s Vincent Cino: Best Practices For Leadership Succession

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Apr 8, 2014   In 2007, Patrick McKenna initiated a survey to an extensive list of law firm leaders asking them, among other things, which law firm managing partner (chair/CEO/etc.) they most admired for their management/leadership competence. Far and away the most revered was Robert M. Dell, chair and managing partner at Latham & Watkins. A recent announcement that Dell would be retiring at the end of 2014, after 20 years as […]

21 Mar 2014

Richard Susskind: Moses To The Modern Law Firm

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Mar 21, 2014 It wasn’t but a minute into my conversation with Richard Susskind–author, professor, consultant, and most pertinent to our discourse, legal futurist–that I was transported in time; not forward, interestingly, but backward, revisiting a trip to a local veterinarian’s office in my younger years… My mother bred German Shepherds, and our very first went by the name of Mickey. Weighing in at 120 pounds, for a purebred, stud Shepherd, he […]

07 Mar 2014

Patton Boggs: The Report Of Their Death Was An Exaggeration

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Mar 7, 2014   If Mark Twain were still gracing us with his presence, Patton Boggs might seek his counsel in dealing with a premature obituary. Their unity and stability have been something of a debate in the media recently, which seems bent on the firm’s demise. But alas, Mr. Twain has passed, so I’ll try to fill his shoes, starting with a tale from the past. (Twain fans will appreciate the […]

13 Feb 2014

Heenan Blaikie Dissolution Spotlights The Need For Cultural Change

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Feb 12, 2014 Walt Disney Studios released the short film Paul Bunyan in 1958, bringing to life their translation of the eponymous French Canadian folk lore that originated in tales told during the Papineau Rebellion of 1837. The film perpetuated the legend of the giant lumber jack, and up to that point, there were none so capable of felling trees as Paul and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox. Closely mirroring American […]

23 Jan 2014

Sex, War and Stability In The Firm – A Clash of Cohorts

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Jan 22nd, 2014   Tracing its lineage back to a partnership in 1899 between Arthur Hill, Robert Homans and Robert Barlow, Hill & Barlow was one of Boston’s oldest and most highly respected law firms. Due to Hill’s intensely rigid character and strong sense of civic duty, the group was synonymous with integrity and professionalism, and was perhaps best known for representing underdogs, the most infamous of which were the anarchists Sacco […]

07 Dec 2013

NFL Bankruptcies, Moral Hazard And The Evolution of Sports Agents

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Dec 6th, 2013   Ask any photographer and they will tell you the same thing: different angles give you different pictures. While this statement is literal, understanding the metaphor isn’t rocket science. And though it applies to most of life’s work, it is supremely apropos to the NFL rookie’s career and the various cast members involved: The average agent sees a fully guaranteed $22M over four years, of which he gets 3%, […]

22 Nov 2013

Why I Am Rooting For Patton Boggs

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Nov 22nd, 2013   I’ve watched Patton Boggs for years. Widely known for their lobbying and litigation practices, like a D10 Dozer with a ripper, they’ve carved their name into the legal and political landscapes. But economic down turns combined with untimely litigation settlements, law suits from massive oil companies, an eat-what-you-kill compensation plan, a confederated culture and the looming retirement of the legendary Thomas Boggs have brought them to a cross roads; […]

11 Nov 2013

Joe Philbin And Richie Incognito: Lessons In Leadership

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Nov 10th, 2013 Things are getting serious in Miami. David Cornwell – the high-profile “go-to” man for professional athletes, including the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Braun and A-Rod – has been retained by Jonathan Martin to field the tidal wave of backlash that has followed his walkout on October 30th. Cornwell is famously successful in the sports world, and being that one of his very few weaknesses is an inability to […]

02 Nov 2013

The Orrick / Pillsbury Merger – Three Things You Should Know

The following post originally appeared on Forbes | Nov 1st, 2013   To the lay person, BigLaw is driven by greed. Huge hourly rates, impossibly long hours, padded bills, and the list goes on. And while this is the case with some firms, sheer greed is rarely the central motivator in pushing profits. The nature of the post-financialized legal market forces firms to continuously seek new sources of capital, for if they fail to do so, then, well, they fail… […]