Unique /

Building sustainable competitive advantage that rivals can’t easily match

Grounded /

Advice that fuses deep industry knowledge with cutting-edge science

Sustainable /

Helping you respond strategically to the existential issues of our time

Strategy

Mergers

Sustainability

We help you build
sustainable competitive advantage

 

Strategy is at the heart of all we do. For a firm to be successful, its strategy must create enduring reasons why clients should instruct that firm to advise them, not its rivals. In other words, it must build sustainable competitive advantage. We help firms to craft such strategy.

Our work has spanned the globe, over more than two decades. Our clients have been mostly law firms, including some of the finest in the world. We also advise other professional service firms, regulators and other kinds of knowledge-intensive organizations.

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We know law firms. We know what drives their performance. Our work fuses deep industry knowledge with cutting-edge business science research from the world’s leading business schools. We are unrelentingly committed to outstanding outcomes for our clients. We don’t just offer generic solutions that seemed to work elsewhere. Instead, we delve into your world to understand your unique circumstances, challenges and aspirations. Our clients trust us to challenge their thinking, and to dig deeply enough to uncover not just the first or most expedient, but the very best solution.

Sustainable competitive advantage is a business-critical imperative at the very core of your success. In essence, it means creating unique configurations of assets, capabilities, and other resources that allow your firm to outperform its rivals in ways they can’t easily match. It is grounded in the  so-called Resource-Based View of the Firm (RBV), a business theory that has fundamentally shaped thinking on strategy for half a century, or more.

In law and other professional services firms, sustainable competitive advantage success derives from three main kinds of resource: the capabilities of your team, the strength of your relationships with clients and other key stakeholders, and the power of your firm’s reputation. Capabilities, relationships, reputation. It on building these three pillars that we focus, to help you create open sea, strategically, between your firm and its rivals.

This approach moves well beyond the outdated positioning view of strategy that dominated before, and is still used by many of our rivals. We believe that firms should focus less on rankings and market position and more on thoughtfully building the core resources that drive their client value propositions. This, in turn, leads to more powerful market positioning. A truly market-leading position comes from powerful sustainable competitive advantage – not vice versa.

Whether you’re reviewing your strategy, considering a merger, or pondering your best strategic reaction to the existential sustainability/ESG issues of our time, our overall approach to supporting you is similar. We help you identify the most material issues and the resources that you need to deliver unmatched value to your clients, to set your firm apart in ways that cannot be easily replicated by your rivals. We help you identify the resources that you need to deliver that. We help you develop a business model that distils into the best performance for your firm. We help you to build sustainable competitive advantage.

    

Our Core services

Our clients trust us to advise them well on a wide range of broad strategic issues, but our particular skill and passion lies in three specific areas: strategy, mergers and sustainability.

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Strategy

We help you build high performance strategies. Our approach is grounded in best practice as taught in the world’s leading business schools, fused with deep experience of how leading law firms work.

Mergers

We help you get mergers right, from building the underlying strategy, to a deal with the right counter-party, to a combined firm that performs better than the legacy firms could.

Sustainability

We advise firms that care deeply about the existential environmental and social issues of our time,  and who want to influence positive change, to adopt a strategic approach to sustainability.

A law firm is not a fighter jet  /

… but both have evolved through definable generations into what they are today. Both will continue to do so in future. Understanding this can help us think more clearly about how law firm business models are changing and what will likely come next.

Insights

Getting large law firm mergers right

Getting large law firm mergers right

Rob’s PhD thesis:  Assessing success in large law firm mergers: a neo-configurational approach  has been deposited in the library at the University of Glasgow. It is freely available for download. The study identifies configurations of antecedent conditions that are...

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Of mountains and molehills

Of mountains and molehills

Some years ago, I was invited by one of the leading Danish law firms to their annual partners conference. We spent a great day together, exploring how the practice and business of law is evolving and how that might impact their firm.

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The CX factor

The CX factor

There’s lot of talk at law firms about client relationships. But for many clients these can still seem hollow words based on one-way relationships.

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Our experience spans the world

Anguilla (BWI)
Australia
Austria
The Bahamas
Bahrain
Belgium
Canada
Cayman Islands
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ethiopia
France
Germany
Hong Kong

Iceland
Ireland
Japan
Kenya
Lesotho
Lithuania
Macau
Namibia
Norway
The Netherlands
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Portugal

Russia                     Rwanda
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Tanzania
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America
Zimbabwe

“In a VUCA* world, leaders must know what needs to change but also what must remain constant. And how to manage the tensions between those.”

Rob Millard PhD

* volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous