XII Annual IBA Law Firm Management Conference took place on 7th December in Radisson Royal Hotel in Moscow. The conference was presented by the IBA Law Firm Management Committee. There was a great atmosphere and many interesting panels on the agenda. One of the most thought-provoking and instructive sessions was the session devoted to the most innovative and promising elements of the law firm strategy. Complex challenges face law firms today. Lawyers are reappraising how they work and what do they want from their careers while clients are reviewing the services they want from their lawyers. Technology is increasingly important in delivering client solutions. 

The session on the most innovative and promising elements of the law firm strategy included (inter alia) Stephen Denyer from the Law Society of England and Wales speaking about new technology influencing legal practice, Tatiana Kamenskaya speaking about competition and Grzegorz E. Wozniak speaking about legal networking and camaraderie between lawyers which was illustrated by the example of the New Circle network. The session was moderated by Denis Kachkin from Kachkin&Partners and Alexander Khvoshchinskiy from LS-Institute.

In the world in which we are told to chase more Facebook friends, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections, it is easy to lose sight of what the purpose of a professional network really is. Bigger is not necessarily better – this was the message of  Grzegorz E. Woźniak’s presentation during the conference. A network which is small but extraordinary and consists of people who frequently and meaningfully engage with one another can be much stronger than a bigger network created by people who hardly know each other.

This point was illustrated by the example of the New Circle network which was created by former colleagues who used to work for Allen&Overy in various countries. New Circle is smaller than other networks in terms of the scope and the figures but it is powerful in terms of its:
    • effectiveness
    • quality of service
    • meaningful cooperation and
    • real relationship 

The conference in Moscow was a great success and a perfect forum to exchange views with some of the leading thought leaders in the legal market.

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