Ideas & Insights
2020 ZGuide to Leading Law Firms
Our insights about markets, trends, and emerging best practices help clients achieve market leadership.
March 2, 2021
The Outperformers: What Sets Big Law’s Most Successful Firms Apart
Kent Zimmermann and Peter Zeughauser review how, in a difficult year, a subset of firms separated from the rest of the market with double-digit revenue and profits growth. Standout firms are growing faster than their peers by focusing on profitability and reaping the rewards. For 2020’s most successful firms, the year offered valuable insights into the future of their workplaces, their talent and their overall trajectory.Read more
March 29, 2021
How a Good Year Can Trip Up Firms Down the Road
Complacency and the assumption that what is working now will always work can put a darker tint on a successful financial year for law firms. What worked last year isn’t guaranteed to work this year, and relying on that principle could in fact have a detrimental effect on success down the road. Mary K. Young observes that a small number of firms tend to move forward in a halting fashion, taking two steps forward and then one step back. But she believes that most firms recognize that being static after success isn’t the way to replicate it moving forward. It isn’t so much that firms have a great year and then rest on their laurels. The firm could have had a major litigation matter settle and have comparatively lower numbers the next year.Read more
April 27, 2021
What Can a Litigator Bring to the Role of Global Law Firm Chair?
Not all litigators are trusted boardroom advisors. By all accounts, Sidley Austin’s incoming management committee chair, Yvette Ostolaza, is both. Kent Zimmermann describes Ostolaza as a crossover success who is an excellent trial lawyer, but is also respected by business people and partners across practices. He defines the current best practice in law firm leadership succession planning as a two-step process: (1) depersonalize the process so that you’re looking at the attributes that a candidate would need to be successful in the role, and (2) determine to what extent partners in the firm who might be willing to take on the role have those necessary attributes.Read more