Jordan Furlong is a strategic consultant and analyst who forecasts the impact of the changing legal market on lawyers, law firms and legal organizations.

The Brink

Targeting the variable fee

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Filed under: Billing, Innovation, Talent

For as long as most lawyers can remember, the billable hour has defined, powered, and shaped their law firms. It determines how lawyers work, how they sell their work, how much they earn, and how they assess and reward their employees. It breeds inefficient, overworked lawyers and frustrated, resentful clients; but it has also proved… Read more »

Carnival of Trust – November 2009

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Filed under: Law21

Regular readers will be familiar with Blawg Review, which encapsulates the blawgosphere’s best posts over the previous week (and which I hosted earlier this year). In a similar vein is the Carnival of Trust, the brainchild of Charles Green of Trust Matters, which highlights the best posts about trust in the business and professional workspace… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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