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Collegiality? It's overrated. The very best firms ascend through dissent

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who will argue with you.” (John Wooden, the most successful US basketball coach, ever)In my latest Opinion article in The Journal of The Law Society of Scotland, I explain why dissent within professional firms is crucial for their success.Read more here.
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36% annual rise in LawCare cases. UK law firms should implement a support policy

I have recently published a new Opinion piece entitled 'The Law - It's Just Mental' in the Law Society of Scotland's Journal regarding the recently reported 36% annual rise in LawCare cases across the UK.

LawCare outlined that stress was the most common problem with lawyers in the UK, which affects nearly 75% of callers, followed by depression (12%) and alcohol (6%). As I note within the article:-

There is a valuable role here for faculties and the Law Society of Scotland to supplement LawCare’s great work by establishing local panels of specialists able to provide rapid, skilled support.Further, I believe there is a strong case for it to be compulsory for all firms to have a published policy on this issue, which positively encourages staff to seek help. Light is always the best antiseptic. The message must always be: “It could be you, there is no stigma, and we are here to catch you if you fall.Please do read my article in full here.
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Gongs, dinners & just deserts: legal awards have real value

Contrary to an Opinion article in last month's Law Society of Scotland Journal, legal awards have value, and winning one can bring real benefits to your firm. I have published a reply to the Opinion article and many of my comments reflect my experience from being at the heart of building a market-leading law firm for over 25 years. As I note,"Running a law firm is about service, skill and ethics, but it is also about winning – convincing clients to instruct you, not your competitors, because your proposition is the best for their needs..."Read more in my recent analysis here.
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"Use erudite vernacular!": New post in my 'How not to win business' series



I have recently published the 13th and final instalment of my 'How not to win business' series in The Journal of The Law Society of Scotland. The post discusses the importance of avoiding complex language:-“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” (Albert Einstein)Every day, excellent proposals are rejected because they are expressed in florid language which is meant to impress but has the opposite effect.You can read the post in full here and you can find links to all of my publications here. From next month onwards, the scope of my publications in the Journal will be expanding to look not just at selling professional services, but many of the other strategic and management issues with which we are grappling. As noted in my latest article, its catchline is changing also, to “The Word of Gold”. Which is not pretentious at all. Obviously.
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"Fail to Plan": New post in my 'How not to win business' series



I have recently published the 12th instalment of my 'How not to win business' series in The Journal of The Law Society of Scotland. The post, entitled 'Fail to plan', discusses New Year's Resolutions and the importance of planning ahead:-The key is to have clear goals – beacons in the confusion which light the path ahead – and an uncomplicated method of sticking to them. This month, I suggest you set one big business development target for the year...You can read the post in full here and you can find links to all of my publications here.
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