Archived Posts

Hands across the water

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation

I don’t normally focus on very large law firms and mergers thereof, but I’ll make an exception for this one. As you might have heard, US-based Hogan & Hartson and UK-based Lovells have apparently reached an agreement to merge their respective firms by May 2010. The combined entity (Hogan Lovells, provisionally) would crack the top… Read more »

The rise of the responsible client

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Filed under: Clients

At its recent annual meeting in Boston, the Association of Corporate Counsel dropped a minor bombshell by announcing it had created a law firm rating system. In-house lawyers can now rate their outside law firms on six criteria: understanding of objectives/expectations, legal expertise, efficiency/process management, responsiveness/communication, predictable cost/budgeting skills, and results delivered/execution. Even if these… Read more »


The solution or the problem?

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Filed under: Clients, Innovation

Last week brought news of three innovations that, each in their own way, aim to increase access to justice. It’s noteworthy that none of them came from lawyers. First is a report that for the first time in Canada, a third-party litigation funding company, BridgePoint Financial Services Inc.,  persuaded an Alberta trial judge to allow… Read more »

Size and the legal media

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Filed under: Big Firms, Publishing, Solo & Small Firm

My newest column has been posted at Slaw, Canada’s best legal website. As always, you can read it there, or read it here. If you happen to subscribe to my Twitter feed, you’ll notice that I regularly post links to stories of interest in the legal press. If you look closely, you’ll notice that a… Read more »


Charting a new course

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Filed under: Law21

There’s big news at Law21 today — some major announcements that I hope you’ll find as exciting and energizing as I do. After more than ten great years with the Canadian Bar Association, I’m stepping down next month from my position as editor-in-chief of National magazine and executive editor of CCCA Magazine. This was anything… Read more »

Breaking the big firm

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Filed under: Big Firms, Billing, Diversity, Talent

My strongest, greatest fear by far, if it’s not too soon to look to the “other side” of this financial system meltdown and general economic interregnum, is not that things in law-land will look overly different when we emerge, but that they won’t look different enough. That observation comes from Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith… Read more »


The electric law firm

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Filed under: Innovation

“Electric” as an adjective has kind of a dated feel, harking back to the 1970s when it modified Horseman, Company, Mayhem and Light Orchestra. But electric cars still retain a 21st-century buzz, keeping the momentum they developed during the recent oil shock as a serious alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles. The Economist recently devoted a special… Read more »

My podcast with Charon

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Filed under: Law21

I had the great pleasure this morning of recording a podcast with Mike Semple Piggot, better known as Charon QC, the well-known UK-based lawyer, law professor, raconteur, and indispensible member of the blawgosphere. I’ve listened to many of Charon’s podcasts with lawyers I admire, so it’s an honour for me to be asked to join… Read more »


The apprenticeship marketplace

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Filed under: Innovation, Law School, New Lawyers

Critical mass, like the famous definition of obscenity, is one of those things you can’t necessarily define but that you know when you see. We’re approaching a critical mass of discourse on the necessity of change within the American law school system, and when we reach that point, the focus will switch overnight from necessity… Read more »

Why change is so hard

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Filed under: Innovation

Last week’s New Yorker column by James Surowiecki talked about health care reform in the United States, but it has something important to say about change in the legal profession too. Surowiecki noted the sudden remarkable rise in the number of Americans who say they’re satisfied with their current health coverage. Among other factors, he… Read more »


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