DLA Piper among slew of firms to post first-half revenue increase

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  • Less than two weeks after the close of H1 2010 and firms are publishing and highlighting their better than expected results over this time last year. No doubt, firms will attempt to capitalise on this to secure further billings as clients, during economic uncertainty will stay close to better performing firms. Those firms that publish results later, will no doubt have underperformed and will wait till the dust settles so they get lost in the ether of published financials.
    It will be interesting to hear their excuses though and/or if they smoke screen their underperformance with 'OTHER' good news stories (e.g. work/life balance, more women in senior partner roles, pro bono, community initiatives etc...)

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  • Re: Anonymous | 11-Nov-2010 8:47 am
    You make some valid points regarding how clients may interpret this. It's often assumed that clients don't like firms bragging about growth for obvious reasons, but, as you say, it may be more nuanced than this. However, I don't think that the 'OTHER" issues around career progression and CSR sit as such a clear dichotomy from financial performance. Work/life balance and gender balance are essentially about retaining the best talent and that is a commercial imperative. The firms that recognise this will perform better in the long-term. Equally with CSR, aside from whether or not you believe businesses have a responsibility to wider society or not, where this is thought about in a holistic manner it helps firms build networks and cement closer relationships with clients.

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  • @ Joe - Whilst your views on gender balance and CSR appear accurate, the fact is when clients are in the throes of a major transaction worth billions or, in the spotlight of a major contentious case, I can assure you, they will not give even a first thought on gender and CSR initiatives of the firm.
    The client's primary concern is that the firm(s) they seek advisory services or representation from, have shown clear and consistent results in these matters to minimise risks (e.g. financial/regulatory/reputation et. al.)
    Through their strong performance, further positive publicity builds and so can billings, leading to the firm’s better results over the previous reporting period.
    However, non-financial headline grabbing stories can lend to provide the perception that where a firm lacks in financial performance, it makes up in other avenues in an attempt to divert unwanted publicity from underperformance. So I can appreciate the first comment re: smoke screening.

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  • Success breeds success. Clients like dealing with successful and profitable firms. Good publicity breeds a good feeling about a firm and a profitable firm tends to be able to invest more in its personnel - the emphasis being on long term profitability rather than short term gains via cut backs.
    Also its easier to attract 'talent' to a profitable firm than a non-profitable firm - success breeds success.

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