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Forum Magazine

Forum Magazine: Reaching for Tomorrow

Susan Taylor Martin  President, Thomson Reuters, Legal

Susan Taylor Martin  President, Thomson Reuters, Legal

The only constant in life is change. No doubt you’ve heard this expression before – so much so that its repetition may lead us to normalize or downplay the significance of different kinds of change, whether geopolitical, economic or industry-shaping. While maintaining the status quo in the face of turbulence may seem appealing, anticipating market shifts and reacting swiftly to them are crucial to staying successful. In this issue of Forum, you will find stories of how legal organizations are navigating change to improve their own performance.

Today, firms must operate at the highest possible level to compete. Using data, performance metrics and pricing, and attracting and motivating especially diverse talent, are key. However, to stay ahead firms both large and small must do more to safeguard their performance. For instance, the threat posed by cyberattacks is clear, but is your firm ready to handle one? Charles Morgan, the national leader of McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Information Technology Law Group, and co-leader of the firm’s national Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection Group in Montreal, discusses with Neil Sternthal, managing director of Thomson Reuters Legal for Canada, how firms like McCarthy Tétrault are managing the cybersecurity challenge to protect client data.

Beyond data protection, firms are looking to other technological innovations to maximize their performance. However, every tech trend isn’t necessarily a silver bullet. Meredith Williams-Range, chief knowledge management officer at Nashville-based Baker Donelson, shares how to best implement new technology so that firms can improve their efficiency and lower costs to their clients.

Not all adaptations to change involve technology. In this issue of Forum, we explore the financial benefits of multi-practice collaboration, including increased client retention, by studying the advantages of offering cross-practice work. And in the city of Xi’an, China, one four-partner firm is innovating by bringing alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) to the country. Haifeng Yang, managing partner of Silkroad law firm, explains how the firm has tripled revenues from 2014 to 2016 by embracing the ALSP revolution.

In the corporate world, a new study finds that board performance is augmented with the inclusion of general counsel. Dr. Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio, chair of the Executive Leadership Research Initiative for Women and Minority Attorneys at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, looks at the impact general counsel have on corporate boards, measuring the impact of GCs on building consensus, driving results and the bottom line.

These are just a few of the stories shared in this edition of Forum. Hopefully, you will find inspiration within these pages not just to be led by the forces of change, but to take the reins for a more successful and secure future. If you would like to join the discussion, please email us at forum@thomsonreuters.com or drop a comment below.

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