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
Disruptive divas sing a happy tune

Disruptive divas sing a happy tune

Three new boutique firms started by large-law lawyers have been lauded as disruptors at a major industry conference.

A highlight of  the Janders Dean Knowledge and Innovation Conference in Sydney late last week was the session titled The Disruptors – New World Challenges & Opportunities in Knowledge.

Moderated by Lawyers Weekly editor Justin Whealing, the panel included Law Path legal manager Dominic Woolrych, who said that other professional services organisations had shown that disruption need not have a dirty name.

“It is certainly true that disruptors have a bad name within the legal industry,” said Woolrych (pictured top right), who spent nearly three years at Minter Ellison before joining Law Path last year. “We have seen through a number of industries previously, the accountancy industry in particular and the consulting industry, that the disruptors have come through and they are now hailed as the heroes of the industry.”

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christiansen is often cited as the father of modern disruption theory.

Christiansen’s central thesis of “disruptive innovation” is that a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up and usurps established competitors.

The other members of the panel were Simon Davidson, one of the founders of Hive Legal, and Warren Kalinko, the CEO of Keypoint Law.

Davidson (pictured bottom left), who was previously a special counsel at Minters and a partner at DLA Piper, made the point that it is easier to shake things up as a small start-up, rather than being able to affect meaningful change from inside the big firm machine.

“In our case it was clear if we wanted to do what we wanted to do we needed to start from scratch,” said Davidson (pictured bottom left) about his firm, which has ditched timesheets and encourages flexible work arrangements.

“We always look at opportunities, and to do that you need to be agile and, frankly, titanics are not agile.”

Not giving youth its head

While Law Path operates a virtual portal where clients and lawyers can connect and engage in legal services, mainly with regard to commoditised work, Keypoint and Hive target commercial work and recruit experienced lawyers at the senior associate level or above.

For both firms, giving clients access to senior lawyers is a key part of their strategy.

Kalinko disagreed with Lawyers Weekly’s contention that a recruitment strategy that exclusively targets senior lawyers could stymie the adoption of innovative ideas in the future.

“We focus on senior lawyers and the expertise that they carry; our model is no leverage,” said Kalinko. “They just want to go to the person that has the knowledge and to have an efficient and cost-effective service delivered.”

Hive’s Davidson said the issue of junior lawyers was “vexed”.

“We have seen it from the client’s perspective where the client has refused to pay for training junior lawyers,” he said, relaying the story of one client who refused to pay for articled clerks or first or second-year lawyers.

Kalinko added that when he was the head of legal at OneSteel, he and senior members of the corporation were frustrated by seeing invoices where three-to-six-year lawyers were being charged out at $500 per hour.

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

Disruptive divas sing a happy tune
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
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...
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'...
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...
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 & ...