Morning Briefing: Lawyers struggle to collaborate despite benefits to the firm

A new report says law firms need to remove the barriers to collaboration to reap the rewards… New partner for A&O in China… Asia-Pac Reed Smith partner wins Client Choice award… Indian lawyers invited to practice in Japan…

Lawyers struggle to collaborate despite benefits to the firm
Law firms gain financially from the complexity of multi-jurisdictional compliance and multi-disciplinary collaboration when working with global firms but individual partners and practices may not find collaboration easy. That’s according to Harvard Law School lecturer Heidi Gardner who has studied six global firms, three of them law firms to investigate how they operate, especially on collaboration.
She found that although law firms increase revenue when working on projects which require a number of practices to work together, individual partners are more focused on building their own practices. Her conclusion is that firms need to remove the barriers to collaboration to gain the benefits. The largest of these is that the more practices are involved, the greater the revenue, especially as clients tend to view a complex project involving multiple practices as harder to judge on a price to price comparison. Cross border work involving multiple offices is also generally more profitable. Gardner’s study also found that for individuals, and for practices, working with others means they better understand what you can offer their clients and are more likely to refer more work to you.
New partner for A&O in China
The corporate practice of Allen & Overy in China has a new partner. Native Chinese speaker and US-qualified Ling Li joins the firm from a major Chinese energy firm where she was chief legal officer; she previously worked for a Wall Street firm. Her role will mainly be focused on outbound Chinese deals and M&A.
Asia-Pac Reed Smith partner wins Client Choice award
Reed Smith partner Gautam Bhattacharyya has been presented with a Client Choice Award in the Arbitration and ADR category at a ceremony in London. The managing partner of the firm’s Singapore office specialises in commercial litigation and international arbitration. The awards focus on excellence in client service and receive over 2,500 nominations.
Indian lawyers invited to practice in Japan
As Indian weighs the pros and cons of opening up its legal sector to foreign firms the profession’s Japanese regulators have invited Indian lawyers to practice there. It’s understood that the Bar Council of India is considering the offer. There have already been talks between Indian regulators and those in the US and UK and there is a memorandum of understanding with Australia. India is keen to ensure that opening up the legal sector will be of benefit to its lawyers both on the international stage and by foreign law firms using local lawyers for court action. 

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