Bryan Cave has completed a long-term strategic review, with the US firm placing emphasis on three main areas such as thought leadership, sector focus and diversity.
London managing partner Carol Osborne said the firm wanted to be “best in class” in three practice areas, with investment being made in the financial services, agribusiness and real estate trust groups.
The US is already home to a high-value real estate transactions and tax practice, while the firm’s London office is pushing to add financial services talent in the City having hired associates from Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy.
Another key part of the strategic review is emphasis on “thought leadership”. Bryan Cave’s London lawyers have already been involved in thought-leadership activities, such as its head of EU and UK competition law Robert Bell. However. the practice is now being promoted worldwide with partners encouraged regularly to speak publically, write blogs and host seminars.
“Lawyers should be demonstrating their experiences and translating them into an external product,” explained Osborne. “It’s all about building the brand of the firm.”
Finally, the firm has singled out diversity and inclusion for its long-term strategy, aimed at appointing a high number of women in leadership roles. Osborne admitted “we have a lot more to do like all our peers”, but drew attention to her own managing partner role, as well as firm chair Therese Pritchard.
“People won’t join you unless they see people already there,” says Osborne, who says the diversity and inclusion strategy also concerns people with ethnic minority backgrounds and those who are openly gay and lesbian.
“It’s about role models and demonstrating success, and unless you have people who have thrived and survived, it’s hard for people from diverse backgrounds to see themselves there.”
Bryan Cave is currently a £650m revenue firm, with 19 offices in the US, three in Asia and five in Europe. Last year the firm promoted nine lawyers to its partnership, with litigation Robert Dougans becoming the only London-based lawyer to join.