SOLUTIONS: KNOW

We help clients discover what they need to know in order to make sense of what is going on, make better decisions and develop more successful strategies.

We help clients discover what they need to know in order to make sense of what is going on, make better decisions and develop more successful strategies.

We help clients discover what they need to know in order to make sense of what is going on, make better decisions and develop more successful strategies.

You need to know where your business is making its best profit and where it is losing money today, and be able to develop reasonable assumptions about how that is likely to change over the next 3 – 5 years. Without that, you cannot make sensible strategic decisions. Some specific questions that you need to ask are as follows. We can help you answer them, well.

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CLIENTS

> What keeps our most important clients awake at night?
> How will that change over the next 3 to 5 years?
> Will we still be the best option that they have, to service their needs?
> What do they think of the value we provide, compared to that of our competitors?
> Where our competitors are winning work that we could do, why is that so?
> Where can we effectively cross-sell other parts of the business and where not?
> Which less important clients might be key clients in the future?
> Which of our current key clients are decreasing in importance?
> Which industry sectors are most of our key clients in? What does that mean for us?
> How would our various clients prefer us to price our services?

MARKETS

> Which markets will be the most attractive to us, three to five years from now?
> Which markets are becoming less important to us, over that time frame?
> Where are our most important clients active; how do they regard us in each market?
> How are remote markets different to our home market (risk, culture, etc?)
> What factors in particular markets make it necessary to change our strategy, there?
> What needs to be done to balance local opportunities and threats with firm-wide priorities?

SERVICES

> What new legal needs will current trends create for clients?
> What new service lines do we need to create, to meet those?
> What existing service lines will become systemically unprofitable for us?
> Which of our services do clients value most and how can we grow those?

YOUR PEOPLE

> How do we get our partners / other equity-holders to think and act as owners?
> Who do we need to hire net?
> How do we get senior leaders to transfer skills and relationships to their successors?
> How do we ‘glue’ lateral hires to our firm?
> What does our culture need to be like, in specific terms, to deliver the right behaviour?
> How do we make our firm the kind of place that our people love to work in?
> How do we get all our people across our firm thinking strategically?
> What do millennials want and how can we deliver that, without sacrificing quality, client expectations and acceptable economic performance?
> How do we get people to take control of their own professional development?
> How do we get our people collaborating well as teams, especially virtual / agile teams?

COMPETITORS

> Where are we losing work to them, and why?
> How are they attracting talent away from our firm?
> What is our position in the market, by a range of metrics, relative to them?
> What might we be able to win work away from them?
> Where might they be vulnerable to us winning lateral hires from them, to bolster our bench strength or to fill gaps in our own strategy?
> Do any of them represent merger opportunities for us? If so, what do we need to know about them in order to assess that opportunity?
> Over the next 3 – 5 years, what service lines may be lost to competitors who can offer client multi-disciplinary teams (e.g. the ‘Big 4’ global advisory firms.)

THE FUTURE

> What economic and socio-political trends might impact our business in the next few years?
> How sound are the assumptions on which we are basing our decisions about the future?
> What new competitors are emerging and how will they impact our business?
> How will the industry sectors of our most important clients evolve and what new needs will that create (and what existing needs will fall away?)
> Do any of the answers to questions change if we look ten years out instead of five? How?
> What ‘radar scanning’ processes do we need to have, to know as/when things change?

BUSINESS MODEL

> What do we need to do to sustain our core competencies, that clients value most about us?
> What adjacencies can we exploit to grow our firm without losing our distinctiveness or diluting our economic performance?
> How do we connect our people so that they collaborate better across the firm?
> How can we arrange our work spaces and combine them with technology, to be more agile and save office costs?
> How will our pricing strategies need to evolve in order for clients to prefer to use our firm?
> What technologies are really going to impact our business (and what is just hype?)
> How can our business systems and processes be better aligned, to be more efficient?
> What can we do better, to service markets in which we don’t have physical presence?

DETAILED ANALYSIS OF CLIENT NEEDS

At their most basic level, these studies aim to develop a clear view on where clients use your firm and where they use you competitors – and why. At a deeper level, they can deliver great value in better understanding the industry sector in which they are operating and how their businesses are likely to change – and so the needs that your firm meets for them. Done properly, this can be a powerful foundation from which to build a market-beating strategy.

COMPETITIVE MARKET INTELLIGENCE

We can do extremely good research and analysis on your competitive position in the market, to show how you shape up to your competitors in a whole range of ways, both quantitative and qualitative. All sources that we use are publicly available (we do not indulge in industrial espionage) but the analysis that we apply can often deliver fresh, new insights to the opportunities and threats that you face.

MARKET ASSESSMENTS

Using unique methodologies that we have developed, we are able to conduct assessments on demand for the services that your firms sells in almost any market in the world. When married with your firm’s internal data, this can provide powerful insights into how your current profile in those markets matches to their potential for growth. This kind of work is very useful in proving (or otherwise) the business case for new offices or other market entry strategies. Our work has ranged from single cities or countries to continents / regions, to the entire world.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

We can overlay our analysis onto the work that your own people do (e.g. your finance department) in assessing the performance of different parts of the business, to deliver richer view on where investments or reshaping may enhance the performance of the firm.

CULTURE

Using a number of tools and approaches, we can develop a clear and well-articulated description of your firm’s culture. The analysis that we undertake also highlights areas where the culture is misaligned with what is required to drive the behaviours dictated by your strategy, or what has been shown to drive high performance.

MERGER CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS

We are experienced in supporting law firms find appropriate merger candidates for merger and assessing the business case for a merger. Our approach is tightly focused on determining what the strategic imperative would be for the merger, beyond simply increasing scale. Our experience includes having advised on a transatlantic merger where the merged firm subsequently grew into the largest law firm in the world.

DEVELOPING INTERNAL COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE TEAMS

We have experience in advising firms, including a prominent New York City law firm, on developing their own internal competitive intelligence and strategy capabilities.