Morning Briefing: Lawyers struggle to collaborate despite benefits to the firm

by NZ Lawyer05 Mar 2015
Lawyers struggle to collaborate despite benefits to the firm
Law firms gain financially from the complexity of multi-jurisdictional compliance and multi-disciplinary collaboration when working with global firms but individual partners and practices may not find collaboration easy. That’s according to Harvard Law School lecturer Heidi Gardner who has studied six global firms, three of them law firms to investigate how they operate, especially on collaboration.
She found that although law firms increase revenue when working on projects which require a number of practices to work together, individual partners are more focused on building their own practices. Her conclusion is that firms need to remove the barriers to collaboration to gain the benefits. The largest of these is that the more practices are involved, the greater the revenue, especially as clients tend to view a complex project involving multiple practices as harder to judge on a price to price comparison. Cross border work involving multiple offices is also generally more profitable. Gardner’s study also found that for individuals, and for practices, working with others means they better understand what you can offer their clients and are more likely to refer more work to you.
 
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