Background

I was called to the Bar in 1977, and was for a time a tax lawyer with Clifford-Turner.  I became one of the first UK specialist consultants to law offices in 1985.  Since that time I have acted as a strategic adviser to hundreds of law firms – including firms in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and South-east Asia.  My advisory work concentrates on strategy, law firm economics and valuation, and ownership, structure and governance issues.  My advice has also been sought by barristers’ chambers, patent attorneys, governments, corporate legal departments, law societies and other professional associations.  I also act as a non-executive member of boards and strategy groups, and as a coach to those in strategic leadership positions (in the law and beyond).

I have a particular interest in the implementation of the Legal Services Act 2007 and the effects that this will have on the market and on providers of legal services.  In 2015, I chaired the review by regulators of the Legal Services Act 2007 and related legislation to identify for the Ministry of Justice the potential options for future legislative change.

In addition to my work as a non-executive director and independent adviser, I am Honorary Professor of Law in the Faculty of Laws at University College London, working particularly with the Centre for Ethics and Law, and emeritus professor at The University of Law.  My focus is to encourage the supply of effective legal services by strong, independent providers through practitioners who are appropriately qualified to offer professional advice and to manage their businesses.  I am also a visiting professor at the IE Law School in Madrid.

I am the author of Law Firm Strategy: Competitive Advantage and Valuation (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Making Sense of Law Firms (Oxford University Press, 1997), as well as of other books on professional practice, and co-author with Derek French and Christopher Ryan of Company Law (33rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2016).

Qualifications

  • LL.B. Hons (University of Manchester)
  • LL.M. (University College London)
  • Ph.D. (Nottingham Law School)
  • Barrister (Lincoln’s Inn; now a Bencher of the Inn)
  • Business Coach (Meyler Campbell)
  • Non-executive Director Diploma (Financial Times)

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