top of page

Published Insights

The articles below are just a few examples of our perspectives on

important issues impacting the legal profession.  They reflect our consulting style of focusing on human behavior and real results, not just academic theories or superficial trends.

Reaching a Deal

The American Lawyer

It is estimated that 70% or more of corporate mergers fail to achieve their goals.  It isn't surprising to learn that law firm mergers have a similarly low success rate.  This article, published in the American Lawyer, discusses some of the common, but not commonly understood, challenges in negotiating a successful law firm merger, and how to address them.

MesaFive Client Briefing - October 2020

Law firms are increasingly concerned about unintended bias issues in their partner compensation decisions.  For most firms this is a complex and intimidating topic, without a lot of guidance available about how to assess the issue.  In this client briefing we draw on our experience and address some of the most common questions we receive from law firm leaders on bias testing of partner compensation.

Shinto Path

MesaFive Client Briefing - December 2020

Recently we were asked by a client to share our observations at year end about some of the most important trends in the profession and the paths that law departments and law firms may follow in the new year.

Corporate Counsel

While report cards from in-house counsel have become popular and proven helpful, we still hear from many General Counsel that they are frustrated with the lack of response or change they generate from law firms.  There is a better grading system, backed by science and experience, that promotes understandable feedback and real change.

Discussing the Numbers
Discussing the Numbers

Is Origination Credit Hurting Rather Than Helping Your Law Firm?

The American Lawyer

There is nothing wrong with rewarding those who develop and bond clients to a law firm.  Indeed, without doing so most firms won’t survive.  And there is nothing wrong with measuring those skills.  The challenge for law firms is that in their attempt to measure it, client interests, firm profits and effective teamwork sometimes take a backseat to the pressures a partner feels in trying to prove his/her worth to the firm.

The American Lawyer

Transparency is a common refrain in both business and society today, and with good reason.  Clarity about what is happening and why instills a sense of confidence in leaders and creates a sense of honesty.  And yet, transparency in partner compensation seems to repeatedly create unhappiness and dissension.  The real secret is not transparency, but predictability.

Business Brainstorm
Upward Curve

The American Lawyer

As many experienced leaders know, setting partner compensation in a great year is often tougher and can cause more internal dissension than in a bad year.  The key is in managing expectations.

Credit Assessment

Partner compensation isn’t typically taught in law schools, so it isn’t surprising that firms struggle with the issue.  Law firm leaders constantly invent new analytics, adopt compensation models from other firms, or even occasionally just throw up their hands under the rationalization that “there is no perfect system."  But before you redesign your system, consider these facts about partner compensation that are not widely understood, but which are well proven by research and experience.

bottom of page