Futures refocused


Do law firms need new ways to prepare for further shocks to the system?




As COP26 finally got underway in Glasgow, an obvious question facing Briefing is how much our readership of senior legal business leaders is prepared to do to reduce their organisations’ impact on global climate change?

As ESG accountability keeps moving higher up the agenda, there’s also the matter of meeting expectations – of the bill-paying clients out there pursuing similar goals, but also of law firms’ own people. Top talent is up for a move if needs aren’t met, and signs are that the future of the planet is something it cares about. So if not now, when?

And, on the related topic of creating values that resonate with the legal workforce, this month’s issue of Briefing touches on the topic of talent in quite a few places. That includes our profile piece in which Josh Adcock speaks to Royds Withy King HR director Amanda Dow, who discusses the merits of promoting a people-centric culture and facing down the challenges of the war for talent.

Our feature, penned by Joanne Harris, takes a look at the risks firms are facing as we approach 2022, and how they intend to change the ways they monitor that risk. With 18 months of disruption in the rear view mirror, what can be learned from mitigating the unexpected and taken forward into the future? Gain insights from leaders at DAC Beachcroft, Russell-Cooke, Harper Macleod and Eversheds Sutherland in our cover story, and from many others across this issue.


Though the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was a risk few anticipated, many firms have learned lessons from it around flexibility and taking on a business-wide approach to risk-spotting. Joanne Harris asks legal leaders how they’ve changed their perspectives on the risk horizon.


With legal professionals increasingly prioritising flexibility at work and empowerment in their career choices, people-centred values may be an appealing prospect. Josh Adcock speaks to Amanda Dow, HR director at Royds Withy King about her firm’s journey towards a culture of support and enabling people to fulfil their potential.


While law firms have long strived to get better visibility into their clients’ needs and behaviours, Foot Anstey CTO Dave Bloor explains how his firm has found a portal to technological transformation, with help from Peppermint Technology’s data architecture and CRM tools.


Change and channels

Where do firms see opportunity for leveraging their investment in MS Teams?

A new chapter of change?

How have legal businesses handled the pace of change in the last 18 months?