The Lawyer Management: Riverview Law
18 February 2013 | By Lucy Burton
Adam Shutkever, chief operating officer
Adam Shutkever is chief operating officer (COO) at Riverview Law. He joined in August 2011 and was previously managing director of Palatium Investment Management.
How has your role changed during your time at the firm?
Constantly. We formed our company a little under two years ago and launched Riverview Law almost exactly a year ago. Since then we’ve grown our business into a successful provider of legal services to businesses from SMEs to FTSE100 companies, and we’ve raised several rounds of funding.
My role has included corporate finance, recruitment, business development, investor relations, entertainment organisation and all points in between.
Has there ever been a problem at work that’s surprised you?
I never cease to be surprised by all sorts of things. For me, the essence of a good job is unpredictability. The moment I get to the point where I know at the start of the day what is going to happen is the moment to start thinking about moving on. I’m easily bored. At our stage of development, however, this seems a long way off.
What’s your favourite part of the day?
Well, despite attempting to treat my body as a temple I quite like eating, so breakfast, lunch and dinner are my favourite times. Does that count?
Riverview does not have partners, equity or otherwise. What are the benefits of this?
It helps us to manage our business around the needs of our customers rather than the interests of a group of partners.
I happen to think that the partnership structure is a particularly poor one at a time of fast-moving change in the legal sector - too many decision-makers and too many divergent interests.
If you weren’t a COO, what would you be?
Unemployed? Although my colleagues think I could have a stab at a career in entertainment. (Tip: don’t share an open-plan office with me.)
What problem would you most like technology to solve?
Technology tends to be far ahead of the ability of most people - particularly, dare I say it, in the legal profession - to exploit. Perhaps if those involved in developing technology were a little more emotionally connected with those who use it we would derive more benefit from it.
What’s the most important lesson your role has taught you?
The importance of keeping things, good and bad, in perspective.
How do you foresee your role changing in future?
I suppose there’s an inevitability, as a business grows, that roles become better defined and I suspect mine will be no different. I will, however, resist this for as long as possible. Variety is the spice of life.
What’s on your to-do list?
I hate lists. They are the enemy of spontaneity. Could I be in the wrong role?
Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Nelson Mandela. His courage, strength, tenacity and humanity will undoubtedly be an inspiration for generations.
Riverview has not filed accounts and, for governance and reporting reasons, cannot publish financial details at this time.
“Making sure we deal effectively with inbound business enquiries, many from major corporate customers who want to discuss our Legal Advisory Outsourcing services, without compromising our service delivery standards,” says Shutkever when asked about the most pressing challenges at the moment.
“It’s all very well having a market-disrupting model at a time of unprecedented change in the legal services market, but at the end of the day our reputation stands or falls according to the quality of our service delivery.”
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