I am managing director of Nigel Haddon Consulting Ltd, which I founded in 2014. I’d spent over 30 years as a solicitor in private practice, the last nine of them as Managing Partner and CEO of a successful regional law firm, one which I helped move from being a ‘High Street’ general practice to being a credible alternative to city-based competitors, and a place in the UK top 200. I am a former Chair of the Law Management Section of the Law Society, editor of the same Section’s Merger Toolkit and an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Leading Professional Service Firms course.
My focus is on helping law firms in three principal areas – offering constructive challenge and support to their leadership, training lawyers in Pricing with Burcher Jennings, and mergers and acquisitions. I work with the firm’s leaders to help re-set strategy and challenge the way things get done (or don’t) in the firm, then support them in overcoming the obstacles to progress. And many firms recognise the importance of having an independent, objective mind to call on when it comes to addressing Partner performance and remuneration.
My interest in Pricing was sparked by working with my now colleague Richard Burcher back in 2013, and my work in that field since 2014 has been recognised by my appointment as a Teaching Fellow in Pricing on the Master of Legal Business course at the College of Law Australia. While in private practice, I led on four mergers and/or acquisitions, and have subsequently built on that hands-on experience in my work in this area with both Mosaic Legal and the Association of Law Firm Merger Advisers.
Leadership & Strategy
Whether at firm or team level, I help leadership and management review and re-set their strategies and guide them, as a critical friend, on implementation. Read more...
There is no other lever that law firms can pull that delivers the impact that improved pricing skills does. And with no increase to overheads! Read more…
Law firms are beginning to look at and accept the value of experienced, independent minds attending their management or governance meetings. Read more…
A facilitated retreat, away from the distractions of the office, gives attendees the chance to stand back and take stock of where they are and where they are heading. Read more…
Mergers & Acquisitions
A lack of independence and objectivity can hinder a merger when it comes to big issues such as ‘who gets what’. Firms benefit from an experienced, independent consultant. Read more…
Performance & Remuneration
Partner performance is a thorny issue. Even where profits are shared equally, there is always a measure of inequality about Partner’s relative contributions. Read more…
Although lawyers are generally highly effective negotiators on their clients’ behalf, many are less good at discussing their own fees with those same clients. This is due to a number […]
Many law firms are using fixed-fee billing, despite a suspicion that fixed-fee work is risky and unprofitable. I provide some techniques for doing it profitably. Without question, the legal sector […]
This guest blog is by my friend Rob Lees, former global head of HR at Ernst & Young, later a director at their Global Leadership Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and […]
Our client was a four partner firm based in a provincial city. It was profitable with PEP in the region of £160,000. While it provided a full service offering it […]
Our client was a two Partner High St practice in the North West. They were looking to sell the practice to a buyer who would keep the main and branch […]
Our client had been in discussions with a two-partner, commercial firm some twelve months prior to our involvement. Negotiations had broken down because our client thought that the sellers were […]
We have benefited hugely from Nigel’s consultancy work with us. He has provided invaluable advice and input based on years of experience of having run both small and large firms. He is always completely frank with us, never talking in riddles or opaque management-speak, but always with positivity and good humour. Nigel has been invaluable in helping us develop a much better understanding of our business and the direction in which we are taking it.
Dave MatthewsChief Executive, Blaser Mills LLP, High Wycombe
Wollen Michelmore LLP has seen huge benefits from running two Burcher Jennings pricing master classes. Nigel Haddon delivered the training in an engaging manner with the benefit of his experience both as a lawyer and as a law firm CEO clearly shining through. Following the training one of our private client partners described the master class as an “absolutely brilliant game changer!” In the first full financial year post training we saw a 26% increase in average fees per file. To achieve such results does require consistent effort and management post training and also a willingness to be prepared not to undertake some work that might previously have been undertaken at less than commercial rates. The result is better service to clients, happier lawyers, and a more profitable firm – a no brainer! We will shortly be running our third pricing master class for new joiners…….
Chris HartChief Executive, Wollen Michelmore, Devon
Extremely useful training – well presented, thought provoking and a real game changer! Thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish – thank you!
Susan GlenholmeManaging Partner, Debenhams & Ottaway, St Albans
I approached Nigel for business development advice. We subsequently ran a business strategy day involving all of the fee earning team. Nigel provided a huge amount of advice and support in advance of the day. Although it had not been our original intention to do so, we invited Nigel to chair the day. He was superb in the role. His approach was professional and focused. He made all of the delegates feel involved and engaged with the process. Nigel continues to provide on going support and advice and I would highly recommend him.