Practice management advice

31 July 2018
By

Forming and storming in legal teams — how to make the most of it

In 1965, Bruce Tuckman wrote his memorable article, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” (Psychological Bulletin, 634(6), 384-399), in which he discussed the four stages that teams generally go through: forming, storming, norming and performing. Some years later he added a fifth phase: adjourning or mourning. These stages are associated with ... More about Forming and storming in legal teams — how to make the most of it.

29 May 2018
By

Small-medium Law Firm Viability 101

For some years now there has been a lot of discussion about the viability of small/medium legal practice – unfortunately, much of it quite negative.For at least the last 30 years various pundits have signalled the eventual disappearance of the smaller, general, legal practice.Commentators more recently have argued that we ... More about Small-medium Law Firm Viability 101.

29 May 2018
By

Why some lawyers are underproductive... and what to do about it

Some lawyers hit the ground running; they make their way through work like a hot knife cutting through butter, billing efficiently, writing off very little time, keeping clients and colleagues happy and getting great results. These are highly productive lawyers.Other lawyers, although technically very skilled, are underproductive financially and temporally, ... More about Why some lawyers are underproductive... and what to do about it.

29 May 2018
By

How to keep on top of tax

Every year lawyers in practice on their own account, along with any self-employed person, need to meet tax obligations. With some planning and preparation, meeting these obligations can be relatively stress-free.There are two simple ways for lawyers to tackle this: by putting a set amount of money aside during the ... More about How to keep on top of tax.

1 March 2017
By

Putting people before profit – how law firms can navigate the new world order

When I qualified as a solicitor in 1984, lawyers were mostly concerned with advising clients and ensuring they billed for their time. Profitability was a given. But not anymore. The world has changed. The global financial crisis, technology, commoditisation and competition have disrupted the status quo for good and created ... More about Putting people before profit – how law firms can navigate the new world order.

16 December 2011
By Lance Wickman, PayTorque Ltd

Busting the myths about getting paid

Q: What do lawyers hate more than recording time and billing clients? A: Collecting overdue receivables. Q: Why do lawyers think that the business of providing legal services is different to any other business when it comes to billing and collection of fees? A: Good question. Q: And as an ... More about Busting the myths about getting paid.

1 November 2010
By Carl Davidson and Roger Larkins

Measuring client satisfaction

The new rules of conduct and client care for lawyers have introduced the requirement to provide ‘client care’ regardless of the kind of legal services lawyers offer. Those rules, which outline the key dimensions of client care, are perhaps more interesting for what they signal than what they direct. That ... More about Measuring client satisfaction.

27 October 2010
By NZLS

Disaster recovery plan review

Review your disaster recovery plan The Saturday 4 September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch came as a sharp reminder to law firms to review their disaster recovery plan – and if they haven’t got one it’s time they had. Basic things like backing up files, securing cupboard doors, not stacking stuff ... More about Disaster recovery plan review.

27 October 2010
By Jenni Murphy-Scanlon

Strategic thinking

Are you strategically savvy? During the years I spent as a corporate learning advisor, organisational developer and human resources manager, I regularly came across employees whose careers had plateaued due to a perception by those above them that they were operational rather than strategic thinkers. It didn’t seem to matter ... More about Strategic thinking.

27 October 2010
By Linda Julian

Customer service importance

Lessons from fine hotels Each time I stay in a fine hotel the experience is both enjoyable and truly impressive. And I'm struck by how different is my guest experience from client experiences at many professional services and law firms. For a few hundred dollars spent with a fine hotel, ... More about Customer service importance.

27 October 2010
By Richard Burcher

Pricing barristers’ services

Barristers’ charge out rates Working with the New Zealand Bar Association, late in 2009 I ran a survey specifically catering for barristers. It covered: Comparison of pricing methodologies, including, hourly rates, daily rates, “seat of the pants”; Percentage of annual revenue derived from Legal Aid against full paying clients; Percentage ... More about Pricing barristers’ services.

27 October 2010
By Richard Burcher

Legal services recession pricing

Pricing legal services for the recovery No law firm has escaped the impact of the financial downturn of the last two years. What is apparent, however, is that it has certainly not impacted law firms even-handedly. For example, it is relatively easy to explain why the global financial crisis will ... More about Legal services recession pricing.

27 October 2010
By John Sloan

Risk management and insurance

All law firms – whether large, medium or sole practitioners – are exposed to a diverse array of risks, and not all of them obvious, Wellington risk management and insurance consultant John Sloan outlines a number of easy-to-overlook risks that can impact on law firms and their clients – risks ... More about Risk management and insurance.