Managing a law firm: Going it alone
My decision to start my own firm came while I was at Baker & McKenzie. I enjoyed my time there - and at HM Revenue and Customs where I was before that - meeting great people who have been influential in my career. I learnt how to operate in a commercial environment and also the need to focus on the overriding objectives of client service and profitability. I then went into partnership with a small firm for a year. For various reasons, the move was a total disaster. Leaving and branching out on my own was the most difficult decision I have taken in my career.I have often felt lawyers are risk-adverse and non-entrepreneurial. In 2002 I completed an MBA, which gave me an insight into effective commercial structures and how to identify and develop niche markets. I realised that the mentality of our profession, and the conventional structure of law firms, often discourages entrepreneurialism. Decision making in firms can be slow and inflexible. I was keen to avoid this.
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