A New Future for Law? Presenting a challenger law firm

May 21, 2018

A challenger law firm

gunnercooke is a challenger law firm. It challenges the way that legal services are delivered to clients.

It challenges the way that lawyers balance their lives. It challenges the way our communities are served by those of us more fortunate. Most of all, it gives lives back to our lawyers and enables them to design their life as they wish to live it. Why would you allow someone to design your life for you, which is precisely what lawyers do at thousands of traditional firms around the globe, when you can design it yourself?

The world has changed. It has become a fast- changing dynamic and challenging environment. As Jack Welch once said: “if you stand still you watch your competition pass you by”. In the opening to a brilliant book called Mission by Michael Hayman and Nick Giles, they begin with a quote by Winston Churchill: “the empires of the future are the empires of the mind”. That was 1943 but Hayman and Giles go on to explain how that thought has become reality in today’s business world, which has become a battleground for ideas and innovation. A changing world where it has been said that two-thirds of the companies that will make up the S&P 500 stock market index in a decade’s time have yet to be created.

We live in a world of challenge, where our biggest industries have been challenged by new and innovative thinking, where Airbnb changes how we think of our homes and challenges the holiday market. Where Uber transforms transportation, where Amazon changed first the book industry, then the retail industry, then the logistics industry, where Apple changed technology and put design and simplicity first and where google finds new ways to understand the world.

And yet some of our oldest industries, professional services, stand rooted to the spot, unable to recognise just how much change is needed and poorly equipped to deliver new thinking, new ways. When we began in 2010 someone said to me that when you begin you can be the best or you can be different and it is very hard to be the best. So at gunnercooke we began by being different, very different. We developed a model that both clients and lawyers wanted. That innovation will continue. We have established a special department known as ‘imagineering’ to ensure that every process, every service, every product is fit for purpose and challenge.

But ultimately our challenge is about being the best, our innovation will take us there. We will not stop until we are the best law firm in the world, judged not by the number of offices we have, or the revenues or profits we generate or the number of lawyers we have, because frankly who cares, but by clients. We focus on behaviours and we measure it by Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS was developed by Bain & Co, and is widely used in the retail industry but in my view is even more important in the professional services sector. Quoting Jack Welch once again who after a few years at GE, a company he built to be the largest company in the world said, and I paraphrase, “I used to focus on the numbers but when I began to focus on the behaviours I was amazed how the numbers looked after themselves”.

By Darryl Cooke

This article was written for and originally featured in the Modern Legal Practice Journal in April 2018

Click here to read the full article.