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Executive Education
Clariden Leadership Institute
Managing Law Firm Profitability, Pricing and Earnings Flow (Melbourne)
Eugene O' Connell
Faculty Director

This program has been independently accredited and certified by CPD
Eugene O' Connell, Faculty Director
  • Highly experienced and knowledgeable in Risk and Performance management
  • Accredited Advanced Coach and member of the European Coaching and Mentoring Council
  • Over 25 years of experience in financial management as former middle and senior level executive in RBS Greenwich Capital, Tokai Bank Europe, and Prudential Bache Securities
Eugene O’Connell works with a variety of law firms across Europe and the Middle East, helping them increase profitability by improving project management, business development, and alternative fees. Before he started working with lawyers, Eugene has had 10 years of experience as a global finance and multinational business trainer and consultant to companies from Jaguar Land Rover to Zurich Financial Services. Before that he spent 15 years as an International Banker on three continents.
Eugene is a frequent speaker at law firms and for small practices needing expert coaching or mentoring in improving their business performance. He has conducted webinars through Central Law Training and Bond Solon Legal Workshops in the UK. He received his MBA from Cass Business School in London and his LLB from Warwick University School of Law. 
Throughout his working years, Eugene has dedicated his time to train, coach, and mentor leaders. Employing the many techniques of his profession where appropriate, he actively listens to his clients and helps them to find the path which best helps them attain the organizational and personal goals they need to achieve.
“This was an excellent session. Very informative and a very knowledgeable presenter. Really good and would like to see what other courses are available.”
Commercial & Contracts Manager
“Great, condensed overview in two days enabling me to have a broad understanding of key topics and theories and a repository to go back to if more details are needed. Great facilitator!”
IT Director
TE Connectivity Germany GmbH 

This course has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted CPD guidelines. On average, this executive program contributes 16 hours towards your CPD.

Program Summary


Over the last ten years, new categories of legal service providers, such as Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs) and Artificial Intelligence have emerged. This is forcing law firms to re-think about their businesses model and the pressure to adapt to new environment. While alternative legal services providers still make up only a fraction of the global legal services market, their influence in reshaping the legal market is significant.


This interactive session will provide you with a comprehensive guide to managing your legal practice to achieve greater profitability. By understanding industry intelligence on latest trends using analytics and lessons learned from outside the legal vertical, you will have a better understanding on how to guide your department's practice to better profitability. 


You will also discover new changes required in your operating model under increasing competitive pressure and how to drive higher margin engagements in relationships with clients, including the art and science of crafting various alternative fee arrangements. By the end of the course, you will be able to deploy effective legal project management which will help you to budget milestones and meet your client’s demand with an improvised process and performance delivery.


Programs, dates and locations are subject to change. In accordance with Clariden Global policy, we do not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national or disability in admission to our programs.



The legal sector has been a competitive market and legal clients are continuing to demand more for less which is the main road-block for law firms that are trying to increase their profitability and performance. There is no global uniform formula for how law firms should price their services. Clients come in all sizes and categories and it is becoming ever clearer that pure dollar calculations are only the beginning as clients examine the worth of the services they contracted. The equation may include experience, expertise resources, culture, risk sharing, importance of the matter to the client and even prior relationships. The value proposition must include all these factors and be collaborative. Partners and members of law firm committees often also talks about increasing firm income which misleads legal management to reduce overhead. However, some of the most profitable law firms identified that the major factor that impacts directly and indirectly on their profitability is changing their internal practices which will reflect on their income increment.


Led by our Legal and Finance expert, Mr. Eugene O’Connell will share with you on the prediction and trends for the business of law in 2018-2019 that will have a direct impact on managing your firm’s profitability. You will also learn to leverage custom data developed from internal and third party data to align your internal incentives to improve overall firm profitability. Besides that, you will be guided to create greater value proposition with the art and science of creating alternative fee arrangements as well as employing new and improved technology in figuring out the cost and non-financial factor that will affect the fee agreement. 


By the end of the course, you will be able to deploy effective legal project management which will help you to budget milestones and meet your client’s demand with improvised process and performance delivery.


What You Can Expect


By the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Discover latest industry knowledge and trends in managing your firm’s profitability
  • Improve relative performance in competitive environment
  • Drive higher margin engagements with clients
  • Align internal incentives to improve overall firm profitability
  • Learn the art of creating alternative fee arrangements
  • Unveil the challenges in pricing and what your client is willing to pay

Who Will Benefit Most


This highly interactive program is designed for law firm associates of all levels, partners, legal, business development, marketing, pricing, finance, project management as well as anyone who is tasked with law firm budgeting decisions.

Program Outline

Day 1

Session 1: Predictions and Trends for the Business of Law 2018-2019

  • What are the business of law predictions?
  • What are the legal technologies trends, why are they important?
  • What changes if any should we expect in the marketing of legal services?


Session 2: Predictability: Giving Clients What They Want at a Price They Will Accept

  • Are you and the marketing department responsive to each other and speaking the same language? 
  • What policies and processes are proving successful and profitable? 
  • Outside counsel guidelines and panels 
  • Cost considerations 
  • Evaluating outside counsel 


Session 3: Culture, Transparency and Compensation - Aligning Resources to Assist Earnings Flow Predictability

  • Compensation: Impact of higher trainee/associate salaries on staffing, are trainee/associate salaries going up again in 2018-19? 
  • Cultural realities for partners, associates, staff and independent contractors 
  • What are the best approaches to get your lawyers to understand use and work with data analytics? 
  • Transparency inside and outside the firm 
  • Managing unintended consequences


Session 4: Measuring and Managing Performance 

  • Aligning internal incentives to improve overall profitability 
  • Using balanced scorecards
  • Five business metrics that law firms should look at
  • KPIs, why, how often, how many and who looks at them


Session 5: Challenges in Managing Law Firm Profitability

  • Lawyers lack of understanding of profitability
  • Controlling the bidding process
  • How to define break even vs. revenue neutral
  • Profitable for whom? The firm, the lawyer or the client?
  • Is loss-leading ever acceptable?


Day 2

Session 6: Current Issues and Best Practices in Pricing

  • Determining scope and cost of project, terminology of pricing; statements of work (SOWs) 
  • Procedure pricing and standards; disaggregation and end to end solutions 
  • Changes in your operating model under increasing competitive pressures 
  • How to drive higher margin engagements in relationships with clients 
  • The skill of creating various alternative fee arrangements 
  • Cash flow impacts 


Session 7: Is the Billable Hour Sustainable? - Cash Flow Impacts, Realization and Currency Conversion Processes

  • The growth in non - hourly or only partially hourly fee deals is now an important concern
  • Fixed fees, holdbacks, payments over multi-years of a fee arrangement 
  • Shared risk deals, incentive deals - all come with cash flow issues
  • What are the latest trends in time of payment schedules?
  • Realization rates have plummeted in recent years. How do you monitor and stay on target to collect the full amount for an assignment?
  • What are the essential elements of a currency conversion program, and how do you minimize write-offs?
  • Avoiding write-downs


Session 8: Challenges in Pricing - Is There a Difference Between Good and Bad Revenue?

  • Industry intelligence on latest trends including weak demand for legal services, using analytics 
  • Lessons learned from outside the legal vertical and from the U.S. & Canadian experience 
  • All you need to know about budgets: planning, monitoring, measuring results by practice group, industry sector, office 
  • Data management and data analytics 
  • Not all revenue is profit or realizable 
  • Incentivizing the wrong behaviors 


Session 9: Unit Pricing and Pricing Management

  • What is a client willing to pay? 
  • How do you efficiently track all the moving pieces connected with a deal? 
  • Do the partners have real time visibility and transparency into the data as work is being performed? 


Session 10 – Legal Project Management

  • Staffing, who is on the team? 
  • Budgeting; managing to budget milestones 
  • Delivering what the client wants
  • Client facing resources, providing assistance to clients 
  • Process and performance management and improvement 
  • Embedded team and practice area management

CFOs Leadership :
Experience Clariden
Discover how our leadership program has shaped the perspectives of CFOs across Asia
Venue: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, Australia
Date: 7 - 8 May 2018
Faculty: Eugene O' Connell
Early Bird 1: AU$2,595 (by 12 March 2018)
Early Bird 2: AU$2,795 (by 9 April 2018)
Regular Fee: AU$2,895
Group Discount: 2nd participant get 10%, or register 3 participants and 4th participant get a complimentary seat
(1 discount scheme applies)
Contact: mandy.denver@claridenglobal.org
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