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I am retained as a non-exec, trusted adviser and personal mentor to well-known law and professional firms and their senior people. I work all over the UK and a little overseas. My practice reflects my career as a successful legal entrepreneur during a time of unprecedented change.

Law firm pricing: Where bullocks fear to roam

When clients complain about the unpredictability of fees, lawyers often chide them that the law is not like a can of beans. But the recent travails of one beans baron hold lessons for us all.

My latest Opinion article in The Journal of The Law Society of Scotland explores the hot topic of law firm pricing, serving up analogies from the supermarket industry.

Read more here.
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588 Hits

It's fine to be a specialist, but don't ignore the world beyond

The days of the generalist lawyer are well behind us. When I first started down the primrose path of private practice, the profession was full of polymaths who would think nothing of drafting a will, a title and a shareholders’ agreement in the morning, before heading off to court in pursuit of an interdict or a not guilty.

Today, the specialists rule, their fields narrowing by the day.

My latest Opinion article in The Journal of The Law Society of Scotland explores the trend towards greater specialisation in legal services, but highlighting the risks of ignoring the world beyond.

Read more here.
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  578 Hits
578 Hits

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.

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  566 Hits
566 Hits

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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  579 Hits
579 Hits

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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517 Hits

COVID-19:

This is a time to stand together and support one another.  For the duration of this crisis, UK law firm leaders seeking guidance, support or a listening ear are welcome to contact me in confidence, without charge. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set up a video or phone call. 

In over forty years of successful legal practice and consulting, I’ve seen many crises come and go. We will survive this one, and if we are thoughtful and determined, emerge stronger.