By: Kevin Broyles
Co-founder and Managing Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP
According to LawyersWeekly, BigLaw and NewLaw are having a feud. But there is a way to merge the best of both. FisherBroyles has created common ground by focusing on sophisticated client service, partner profitability, along with innovation and work flexibility. We believe lawyers can have that cake in the break room — or their kitchen — and also enjoy eating it.
NewLaw doesn’t have to mean small law or blah law. Fifteen years ago, James Fisher and I were at a traditional law firm trying to figure out how to create a new law practice to survive a recession. Today FisherBroyles has a presence across the nation and is a few months away from adding our 200th partner. And if revenue growth continues at the pace of the last four years, we will be knocking on the door of the AmLaw 200 within months.
The secret is focusing on partner flexibility and client service without sacrificing quality, sophistication, or profitability. Our technology and structure allow us to provide partners with the tools to deliver more cost-effective and customized services. We eliminated billing quotas so partners don’t have to choose between chasing hours and providing client value. We eliminated associates so clients are only charged for legal services, not for training inexperienced attorneys. We eliminated other wasteful overhead so partners can offer better fees, whether hourly, fixed, or any other basis. Clients are responding. FisherBroyles represents thousands of companies from emerging growth to Fortune 100.
FisherBroyles institutionalizes a healthy structure that treats partners like professionals, not profit centers. Traditional firms struggle with innovation and collaboration in a very different structure; one that produces conflicts between clients and lawyers and among partners as they fight over profit and marketing budgets. FisherBroyles uses a non-discretionary formula to compensate partners for client generation, client management, work performed, collaboration, and firm growth. The result is a pure meritocracy — a cure to the conflict. One partner’s increase is not dependent on another partner’s decrease. And, we like to say, when you remove the walls, there is no ceiling — glass or otherwise. Partners keep more than three-fourths of what they generate and are responsible for their own marketing and other budget decisions.
BigLaw and NewLaw can exist in harmony when a healthy structure and technology fosters quality, collaboration, flexibility, innovation, and profitability. Flexibility can lead to lower billable hours per partner, but our profit per billable hour is off the charts. All within one NewLaw firm that has already become a nationwide BigLaw firm.