Happy 10th Birthday Clyde & Co Australia!

According to a post in Lawyers Weekly today, Clyde & Co is celebrating its 10th birthday here in Australia – “Happy Birthday!” .

How time flies; and there is no doubt that Clydes has done well here in Australia. As the LW article points out, the firm has enjoyed:

“a growth rate of 115 per cent in the country since 2018.”

Which, to be fair, is not a one-off year as the financial figures show:

“The firm has maintained yearly growth rates of over 20 per cent for the past five years.”

As sustainable growth, which over 5 years you have to assume it is, and an underlying culture that must be driving this growth, everyone would say have to say – “wow, can we have some of that!”.

As impressive as these accolades are – and I’m a huge fan* of how this one time shipping insurance firm has been able to pivot into one of the world’s leading cyber/privacy/technology firms which has resulted in Australia currently ranking its global operations as:

“Clyde & Co’s third-largest country by fees generated”

I have a concern.

And that is this:

“Clyde & Co exceeds $100m in annual revenue in Australia”

Followed by this:

As I first pointed out way back in 2013 and several times since, Australian-based law firms primarily earning/reporting revenue in Australian Dollars, but with accounting systems and tax years based on British Pounds (or US$s), face the dragon known as ‘exchange rates’.

So what does that mean?

The answer is in that chart, it is also in the Lawyers Weekly headline, but I suspect – most importantly – it is in the individual Australian partners’ direct contribution, because that chart tells me there is every chance they could be the third biggest revenue earning geographic zone for the firm globally, and a hell of a long way down the pecking order when it comes to partner distribution.

Anyhow, “Happy Birthday Clydes!”

As usual, comments are my own (*although in this case I will add that while I don’t, now ever have, worked at Clydes I do know a lot of people who do and I greatly admire the work they do).


Photo credit: Morgan Lane on Unsplash

Is a law firm in your pocket the next big thing?

Business Development image

A 54-page report out last month [July 2015] by UBS analysts in London, New York, Hong Kong and Japan, working with consultants at KPMG, titled “Is a bank in your pocket the next big thing?” (extracts of which have been published in today’s Sydney Morning Herald), that surveyed 67 bank management teams in 18 countries, predicts that as much as 11 per cent of Australia’s bank branches are threatened by closure over the next three years as a result of the proliferation of mobile banking.

According to numbers cited in the article, on the latest data available from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (the relevant governing body), an 11 per cent closure of local bank branches would amount to circa 603 branches closing.

Thinking “this is banks, what have they got to do with law?“; or “law is different“?

If so, take a second to process this: we are no longer talking disruption of an industry here, we are now talking about transformational, fundamental technological change in society.

As the UBS report says:

“Going forward, emerging technology and innovation will further enhance mobile banking functionalities that aim to develop deep customer relationships and superior mobile banking experiences, such as communication enrichment, a comprehensive ‘mobile wallet’, and content monetisation, (for example) revenues related to music and e-book downloads.”

… not seeing it?

How about this quote from Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) chief executive Ian Narev at a lunchtime function in July:

“These days, you have to understand in real time what your customers are doing and react in real time,” Mr Narev said. “And that aspect in the use of technology to drive customer engagement will be our number one priority.”

For any doubters out there, the final nail in the coffin for me was this:

“The report also showed how the mobile channel is catching up to the internet channel, with mobile expected to be used by more customers than internet web pages in three years.”

So, how are your customers buying your legal services? And how confident are you that they will still be doing the same in three years from now?

Because you never know, your law firm could very well be the next app in your client’s pocket…