It’s so obvious as to go almost without saying that a law firm, like any other business, needs to be well-led and well-managed. Clients won’t instruct your firm, however good your lawyers are, if they have the impression that the firm is a ‘motel for lawyers’ or is lax about risk management. And law firms are beginning to look at and accept the value of experienced, independent minds attending their management or governance meetings.
The benefits to law firms of suitably qualified NEDs include:
- A fresh, external perspective
- A contribution to strategy development and performance improvement
- Strengthening both leadership and management
- Helping instil and more stringent process for making strategic decisions
- Helping firms articulate their vision, win buy-in, gain commitment and lead by example.
What does ‘suitably qualified’ mean? Well, I’d argue that it means someone who has first class diagnostic skills, has experience as a NED or at the highest level in law firms, can help with both strategy formulation and implementation and has a proven track record or delivery.
A NED needs to be a ‘critical friend’ to the firm, one that challenges the status quo and is a sounding board for the leadership team. One that can help coach and mentor the firm’s leaders, whether that be at ‘C’ level or a Head of Department.
Not convinced? Appointing a NED doesn’t just help your firm as outlined above. Research by Executive Search firm Edward Drummond shows that firms which have a NED grow up to a third faster than those which don’t!
If you would like to discuss how I can help you and your firm, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07753 605236.