Linda HazeltonJust as we were getting ready to head out to the LMA Annual Conference, news broke that Chambers and Partners had been acquired by private equity house Inflexion. Today’s guest blogger, Linda Hazelton, Hazelton Marketing & Management, picked up the phone and spoke to Mark Wyatt, Chambers’ CEO.

Amongst the many services of Hazelton Marketing & Management is the writing of Chambers and other directory submissions on behalf of lawyers and law firms, so Linda’s insights to our community are very much welcomed, and I want to thank her for writing such a detailed post.


News recently broke regarding Inflexion’s acquisition of Chambers. Inflexion is a mid-market private equity firm “investing in high growth, entrepreneurial businesses.” In Inflexion’s news release, Simon Turner, Managing Partner, said:

The legal services market is a large and growing market which we have tracked for a number of years. Chambers benefits from a leading, global position and a reputation for providing the best rankings and research in the industry. There are multiple opportunities for the business to develop its market leading position internationally and through an enhanced digital offering. We look forward to working with the management team as Chambers embarks on this exciting growth strategy.”

Emphasis added

Mark Wyatt will re-join Chambers as CEO. Mark was previously the Managing Director of Chambers from October 2014 to September 2015. Mark’s quote in the news release referenced Chambers’ expansion plans and driving “[O]ur online presence forward.”

I spoke with Mark on April 9, 2018. He confirmed my supposition that Chambers’ methodology and the rigor with which they conduct research will not change. He is very enthusiastic about working with Inflexion, noting that they are terrific with technology. Since they are not publicly traded, there’s no need to focus on quarterly profits and they take the long view. Mark expects that the improvements in technology will allow them to manage the vast amount of information they have gathered in even more useful ways. Overall, the goal is to strengthen relationships with their clients and to improve at retaining their talented researchers and editors. I think we can anticipate an expanded on-line presence as well as new products such as forums, roundtables, client panels, and the like. Continue Reading Inflexion Acquired Chambers. Now What?

Finishing up rolling out a new website in 2018, but already looking ahead to 2019 and my need to roll out an experience management system. Looking at the different products and excited to hear the case studies in this session.

Kudos to the moderator for not just including people using their product.

Why do you need an experience database?

Tips

  • Pick a time frame for the data to import for the project (5-10 years)
  • Each practice to decide the parameters for the data to collect
  • System can rank the strength of the matter based on the hours billed, people still working at the firm (based on hours billed)
  • Sync with your website for representative matters
  • Also filing lateral hire matters
  • Use NAIC, SIC, or Duns

Benefits to the firm

  • Attorneys are doing less
  • Email clutter is going down
  • Firm is trusting that the data is valid
  • Once the matter is open (which is the same), the data is then fed into the system
  • Benefits to the pricing people was a hidden gem

Lessons Learned

  • If you’re not currently tracking the data, start. Give yourself a head start.
    • Add client matter name/number to the Chambers submissions and the representative matters on the website
  • Get every administrative function at the firm involved from the start

Before and After

Continue Reading #LMA18 – Experience Management or My 2019 project

The Winston team is here to present on lateral success, especially surrounding their launch of their Dallas office (50 attorneys from nine different firms). But let me just say, it’s nice being in a room that is a good size and classroom sized. Yeah!! (Still no power strip, but girl can’t have it all in life).

The Panel

Learning Outcomes

Setting the Stage

Continue Reading #LMA18 – Lateral Acquisitions: Setting the Stage for Success

First off my rant: Seriously. Could LMA have given this program the smallest room available? Strategy with Jennifer Manton, Nat Slavin, and Wendy Bernero. Come on … learn your audience all ready.

Here we go:

In the past, law firms did everything, now we need to focus.

If you’re not strategizing, you have put yourself in a disadvantage in the marketplace. This is our new normal. The good ol’ days are not coming back. The client is the general contractor and you are the sub-contractor. Time to rightsize your thought process. Continue Reading #LMA18: Strategy-Are you a talent, service firm? or a hybrid?

Good morning LMA. The General Counsel Panel has now begun. Yes, this is important. These are the clients. Talking about what’s important to them. If there is only one panel you can attend, this would be it. (plus all the others, but, this is the information you need to bring back to your firms.

Who are the Decision Makers?

This is not a one answer fits all question. Smaller companies, GCs are usually the decision makers. Preferred vendor lists. Teams. Chambers to verify (no find).

Question to ask your clients:

  • How do you make the decision on how you hire outside counsel

Tip: Show your subject matter expertise. 

  • CLE
  • e-alerts that are succinct
  • Websites
    • Deeper dive into the subject matter (articles)

Where do you go to research potential clients?

Continue Reading #LMA18 – The General Counsel Panel

The Hall of Fame and Your Honor Awards are being honored and showcased this morning at the 2018 LMA Annual Conference. These are our best members and our inspirations. And we are celebrating them this morning.

  • At 8:15
  • In the morning
  • On Day 2 of a conference.
  • In New Orleans.

I’ll just leave that here.

LMA Recognition Awards | Hall of Fame

I want to personally thank Ann Gallagher and Jeff Reade for your contributions to our association and to our profession as a whole. Thank you for blazing the path that I was easily able to follow.

Congratulations to all who were recognized with a Your Honor Award. The LMA conference is all about connecting and inspiring, so PLEASE click through and learn more about what your peers (and competitors) are doing:

2018 LMA Your Honor Awards Winners

Continue Reading #LMA18 – Honoring and showcasing the best of LMA

 

Okay, let’s begin with the rooms size. Who would have thought so many people would want to participate in a deep dive program on strategic planning lead by this group ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Let’s begin with the why? Why is strategic planning so popular again?

What’s the difference between strategy and strategic planning?

Kim: A strategy allows you to know the firm’s priorities so you can allocate the firm’s resources (money, time, people)

Mike: It allows you to find a common vocabulary, and improve understanding and collaboration

Clinton: With more than 100,000 books on strategy on the market, you need to double down on one, for your firm

You need to put it down on paper, because is where concensus comes into play . So, if you don’t have it in writing, you don’t have a strategy or a strategic plan.

Your strategic plan needs to be dynamic to take into account outside events/competitive landscape (new firm into the marketplace, recession hits, technology change).

WHY do firms implement strategic plans?

Kim: growth. You can’t grow without a strategy.

Clinton’s methodology for strategy:

The Role of the CMO leading the process

The considerations

AI is more than just a buzz word. AI is touching everything that we do, even when we don’t recognize it as doing so.

So, let’s start with the room is too small for a topic this relevant, especially considering last year the room was three times the size and PACKED. So, when the room is standing room only, I have no issues sitting on the floor.

AI doesn’t just understand the words, but understands what the words mean for a phrase like “raining cats and dogs.”

WHAT IS AI?

Mark Greene, Market Intelligence LLC, goes over what AI is. I went to the session last year. I know I tweeted on it, but apparently I didn’t write a blog post … sorry about that. It was one of the best programs I attended. But here are a couple slides from today:

WHAT IS WATSON?

Continue Reading #LMA18 – How Legal Departments are Leveraging AI

Enough happiness, time for some reality from our friends at Peer Monitor (data based on billable information):

Sucks to be in the AmLaw 200 right now. But WTH with productivity v. lawyer growth. Sorry, 1Ls, there are too many lawyers out there.

And who is engaged?

And the hours …

And the expenses

Yeah, this does not make sense. There’s a lot of bloat a few pix up (AH, HEM, unproductive attorneys) … but, hey, let’s tie the hands of people who are out there trying to bring in new business.

(((sigh))) not a lot of information coming out in how to find the opportunities, but I do like the Peer Monitor information.

Kicking off #LMA with Catherine A. Sanderson, Ph.D., The Science of Happiness. I know you won’t believe this, but I was skeptical walking into the program, but open-minded. Adored Catherine’s presentation (she has my sense of sarcastic humor) … you can find a version of it here.

So why should we care about happiness?

Happy people are:

  • less hostile
  • more productive
  • healthier (fight off colds, recover from surgery faster)
  • live longer

But we look for happiness in all the wrong places:

  • money
    • except for people who live under the poverty line
  • climate
    • FYI, living in California f***ing sucks
  • life events
  • children
    • parents experience more joy than non-parents
    • lots of stress from worry, heartache and stress

Marriage

  • Men are happier when married. To anyone. But women need to be married to the right person. unhappily married women are less healthy than single women.

What does make us happy?

  • Behaviors
    • eating makes us happy (if it’s the right food — cake, chocolate, etc)
    • exercise
    • Related imageshopping
      • happiest when shopping for others (except for me, shoes make me happy)
    • nature (gotta admit, I’m happiest sitting on my mom’s front porch, on her country road)
  • Personality
    • your disposition
      • extroverts are happier (make friends easier, outgoing)
      • high self-esteem (can find the silver lining in any cloud)
      • optimists (they can find silver linings as well)
  • Friends
    • quality over quantity
      • get rid of the riff-raff of friends and focus in on the quality relationships
      • as we get older we prioritize the relationships … but we can do this at any age
      • the label on the relationship doesn’t matter
      • relationship just needs to be meaningful
      • the mere presence of a cell-phone automatically decrease the meaningfulness of the relationship
        • PUT THE PHONE DOWN, AND AWAY

Three components of happiness

  • pleasure, but less important (ie, the glass of wine you had last night)
  • engagement (and anticipation)
    • such as planning a vacation
  • meaning
    • doing things that you find meaningful

Conclusion

  • Genetics accounts for 50% of our happiness. But the ability to adapt to our circumstances allows us to find happiness again, even under the worst circumstances.
  • It takes effort. We need to put effort into it and fight for it.

Top 10 strategies for increasing happiness

  1. change your behavior
    • exercise
    • spend time outside
    • meditate
  2. find your match (professionally, personally)
  3. read a book you love (for me, John Adams. Never wanted that book to end)
  4. keep a “gratitude journal”
  5. make a “gratitude visit”
  6. smile (even when you’re not happy)
  7. perform random acts of kindness
    • volunteer
    • donate to charity
    • give a gift (to anyone)
  8. spend money on the right things
  9. avoid comparisons
    • Fakebook
      • post honestly
    • We can choose the comparisons that we make
  10. build and maintain close relationships
    • if it wasn’t for LMA, would any of us be legal marketers?