Lawyers, project management and clients - The key to law firm success

Lawyers by nature are strategic, attentive to detail, and are well versed in the nuances of the law but what many are not is skilled to deliver a project in the most profitable or efficient way. The legal sector has had a tradition of leaving lawyers and experienced partners to manage matters without the thought of needing to apply project management principles. It is a common mistake across the legal world and even today with the advanced developments of many forward-thinking firms, there are still law outfits without dedicated service delivery or project support professionals.

Experienced Partners and lawyers are notoriously difficult to influence and rightly so, why do they need to change when they’ve practiced law for decades and they have built a successful legal career from it? The answer to this is simple, clients are demanding transparency and cost-efficient solutions and law firms want to increase profitability, reduce write-offs and provide a more efficient and streamlined service. It is easy to see why so many legal leaders have taken strides to introduce this as a service.

If you are responsible for innovation initiatives, driving profitability, or client growth within a law firm, the question that needs to be asked is “why would a client work with us when our competitors are delivering a more efficient, cost-effective and transparent service?” More often than not, they wouldn’t. Internal procurement teams are hot on the heels of their legal service providers and many are now beginning to drop service providers that don’t have a dedicated LPM resource on their matter.

First and foremost, clients want quality legal work, that is obvious. But what firms also want is to know that their matter is being managed in the most effective, cost-efficient and transparent way. I have countless examples of where having a first-class LPM offering has made all the difference in who the client has retained.

The Pandemic & The Increased Importance of Legal Project Management

Over the past 6 months, the world of work has changed significantly. Much of the global workforce is completing assignments from home and the legal sector is no exception. Even post-pandemic, up to 90% of the workforce has said that they would like to continue some form of home working and firms such as Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie, and Squire Patton Boggs, all of whom are following the trend through introducing more flexible working policies.

With this in mind; there has never been a more important time to have quality project management professionals on hand to ensure matters are being delivered on-time, within budget, and in the most efficient and transparent way possible. The role of an LPM is to provide support in areas legal teams are less well-versed in. The LPM oversees everything, from the acceptance of a matter and scoping, the pricing and budgeting, resource management and allocation, through to the process improvement, tech implementation, and delivery. These are experienced professionals with the sole aim of delivering a solution that both clients and lawyers are happy with.

If you are interested to learn more about how an LPM function could benefit your firm’s ability to win and retain clients, increase profitability, reduce write-offs and drive efficiency, get in contact. I am more than happy to talk through some of the successes firms across the globe have made from implementing the service.

Please contact me at or alternatively give me a call on 0203 805 3374

By John McKechnie

Practice Lead - US

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