find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Big Law firm model established

Big Law firm model established

A future model for big law firms has emerged from a role-play game conducted by Australian insurance lawyer Anthony Kearns and an Indiana University law professor over the weekend.



Kearns joined Bill Henderson at Maurer School of Law in the US to establish a new set of rules for mega law firms, the AM Law Daily reports.


The model includes reducing salaries, as well as increasing training for associates in response to pressure from clients over billing fees, competition concerns and the exit of experienced practitioners. 


Kearns used an analogy of the 1,000-day life span of the turkey to illustrate the false sense of security felt by big law firms during the global financial crisis. The turkey, he explained, lives through its life unaware of the cataclysmic 1000th day approaching, even as it observes fellow turkeys dropping off one by one, he said.
 
The model also suggests basing bonus and promotion decisions on the performance of the law firm and the competencies of individuals. 


Partners would see a drop in incomes and partnerships reduced to one level, under Kearns’ new blueprint for the profession. 


Cost-cutting measures would include work-from-home options and locating the office in the suburbs as opposed to the city. 


Firms would offer alternative fee options and will share fee risks with clients whenever possible. 


As Kearns outlines the future model for the profession, some Australian firms are ahead, putting elements into practice. Optim Legal uses a satisfaction-based billing model. Meanwhile, lawyers don’t have billing targets and clients can pay on a sliding scale of an additional or minus 20 per cent of the fee. 


Nick James, the co-founder of Optim Legal, said firms need to reconsider how they bill, for both their lawyer and the clients they service. 


“In a big firm most often lawyers feel the pressure to bill as many hours as possible in order to rise up through the ranks,” said James


“In a big firm that really is a lose sum game. They do retain the client but almost all the drivers you face as a lawyer lead you to believe if it’s not a high billing file then you haven’t achieved,” James said.


See today's e-magazine here





Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Big Law firm model established
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...