Law Firm Strategy: Competitive Advantage and Valuation

Hardcover | September 26, 2007

byStephen Mayson

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The legal services marketplace has become ever more competitive. Identifying a robust business strategy and sources of competitive advantage are difficult challenges for law firms today. The review of legal services carried out by Sir David Clementi, leading to the Legal Services Bill, pavesthe way for yet more change, competition and consolidation. As well as reviewing the way that law firms are regulated, the Bill will de-regulate the ownership of law firms, so that they can be made public or owned by multi-disciplinary principals. For the first time, firms now face the prospect ofnot being wholly owned and managed by lawyers, and of being able to seek capital in the general finance markets in the same way as other businesses. Stephen Mayson has been a consultant to law firms all over the world for more than 20 years, and is one of the most respected commentators on legal practice. In this new book, he presents the first in-depth and systematic treatment of strategy, competitive advantage and valuation for the legalservices market. The text provides practical guidance for law firms on how respond to the reforms to be introduced by the Legal Services Bill, and in particular how to build and preserve value in the new environment. It explores in detail a range of factors that firms need to address in order toface both known and new forms of competition, and build a sustainable business.In the first part of the book, the author explores the emerging landscape of legal services. He discusses fair market valuation and the link between strategy, competitive advantage and valuation, before addressing regulation and competition. Here the decline of regulatory barriers (including theClementi Review and the Legal Services Bill) and the effects of maturing markets are examined, as well as the issues and challenges of consolidation and polarisation of legal service providers, and globalisation. Mayson then examines the nature of competitive advantage, including its foundations andsustainability. In the third section, the principles of valuation, including definitions of value and methods of valuation, are looked at, in addition to an analysis of the drivers of value in law firms and guidance on how to optimise and sustain income. A section on the implications of valuationthen focuses on issues such as the possible tensions between individuals and the organisation, collective action and commitment, and the longevity of the firm. In the final section, the author looks at the foundations of strategy, such as: its context; the 'strategic triangle' of services, clientsand geography; strategic objectives and risks; the strategic response; and the building of capital for competitive advantage (including a discussion of financial, physical, human, social and organisational capital). The book ends with a discussion of future prospects for the legal services market.Law Firm Strategy: Competitive Advantage and Valuation is an invaluable text for those already managing law firms, those looking to compete with existing law firms in the new environment, and those who are not lawyers but find themselves with an opportunity to own, invest in or manage a legalservices business.

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From the Publisher

The legal services marketplace has become ever more competitive. Identifying a robust business strategy and sources of competitive advantage are difficult challenges for law firms today. The review of legal services carried out by Sir David Clementi, leading to the Legal Services Bill, pavesthe way for yet more change, competition and...

Professor Stephen Mayson is a former tax lawyer who became a consultant in legal practice in 1985. He has advised law firms, large and small, around the world, as well as corporate and government legal departments, barristers' chambers, patent and trade mark attorneys, and professional associations. His consulting work emphasises stra...

other books by Stephen Mayson

Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.1 inPublished:September 26, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199231745

ISBN - 13:9780199231744

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Table of Contents

I The Emerging Landscape for Legal Services1. Introduction2. Regulation and CompetitionII Strategy and Competitive Advantage3. The Essence of a Modern Law Firm4. The Foundations of Strategy5. The Firm's Normative Environment - Enabler or Constraint6. Matching Strategic Context and Response7. Strategic Options8. The Nature of Competitive Advantage9. Building Capital for Competitive AdvantageIII Valuation and Legal Practice10. The Principles of Valuation11. The Drivers of Value in Law Firms12. The Implications of Valuation: The Firm as an Entity13. The Implications of Valuation: The Longevity of the Firm14. The Implications of Valuation: Capital and the Firm's Boundaries15. The Implications of Valuation: Sharing the ReturnsIV The Way Ahead16. Aligning Strategy and Performace17. Aligning Strategy and Structure18. Final Thoughts and Prospects for the Future

Editorial Reviews

`"This is an essential book for your library - one to which you will refer again and again...The book provides an excellent template for any professional service firms looking for new capital sources, merging, divesting, or acquiring another practice." 'Beaton Consulting