Doing more with less. In the pages of our first edition of Forum for 2017, you will see this common theme explored by lawyers at firms both large and small as they strive to maximize performance and meet client demands for more efficient services. This friction is igniting sparks of innovation as law firms and their clients reimagine ways in which legal services are provided and legal professionals work.
Alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) are a part of the solution for many legal departments and law firms. And if you think cost is the primary driver for partnering with ALSPs, you need to read our article about the findings from the first-ever survey concerning the use of ALSPs, which Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute conducted in partnership with Georgetown Law School’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.
In this competitive environment, lawyers everywhere are also looking to technological innovations to help drive efficiencies into their practice. Mariano Batalla, lead partner at Costa Rica’s Batalla Salto Luna, has leveraged client mapping to reduce the number of client touch points and increase transparency. Duncan Eadie, head of UK law firm Foot Anstey’s IT department, implemented a complete IT strategy to transform his firm into one of the most tech-savvy and lean firms in the UK. And Portugal’s Vieira de Almeida used their culture of innovation and teamwork to guide them through the global financial crisis, and as a result they have been recognized by the Financial Times as the most innovative law firm in Continental Europe.
As critical as the role of innovation is in shaping the practice of law, diversity is also having an important impact. New research from Acritas shows that the next generation of in-house counsel is composed of 50 percent more women than their over-50 counterparts. This contingent wants more gender balance at law firms, and Jan Anne Dubin, CEO and principal of Jan Anne Dubin Consulting, and Roberta (Bobbi) Liebenberg, senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black, discuss some of the data that show why having more women in leadership positions is a win both for women and for the organization’s bottom line. With the business case clear about the benefits of a diverse workforce, Ami Kaplan, partner and vice chairman at Deloitte & Touche LLP, talks with Charlotte Rushton, managing director of Large and Midsize Law Firms at Thomson Reuters, about Deloitte’s experience of making diversity a sustainable part of their firm’s culture; and Sabine Chalmers, chief legal officer for Anheuser-Busch InBev, tells Forum how diversity plays a key part in her world-class legal department.
These are just a few of the ideas explored in these pages by leaders in the global legal industry.
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