Case Studies

Business Development Training

Collaboratively Designed Training and Delivery

One of the largest Canadian law firms hired me to work closely with their internal Business Development and Professional Development teams to custom design five training programs for their partners. I co-delivered the program with their head of business development, and it was so successful, we conducted a second round of training sessions in two other cities.

Custom Designed Programs for Associates

An Am Law 10 firm hired me to custom design a training and learn-by-doing program for a group of senior associates. The program was a mix of training videos mixed with live group debrief and planning sessions over a one year period, resulting in many developing new strategies and behaviors that are setting them up to become highly successful rainmakers. The program was extremely well-received and was repeated in the following year for a new generation of associates.

Jumpstart for High Potential Lawyers

An Am Law 200 firm engaged me to co-develop a highly customized training and coaching program for a select group of high potential new partners to help them become solid business developers. The program was delivered over an 18 month period, with a mix of training sessions, individual coaching and a gamified tracking system. These lawyers built a strong foundation for future growth and achieved some solid business development successes, resulting in the firm engaging me again to run another group through a similar process.

Business Development Coaching

From Hating to Loving Business Development

One partner completely reframed her mindset about asking for business when she realized she was not “taking”, but instead serving and giving when she offered her assistance. This led to a new set of behaviors (taking 15 – 30 minutes every morning to find a few people to reach out to) resulting in landing new business she was afraid to ask for before, which has also positioned her to receive large new matters in the following years from this one client.

Structured Succession Planning

One senior partner wasn’t sure how to wind down his practice, so we built a structure where he identified all of his key clients and top prospects and conducted regular meetings with the lawyers who were to inherit those relationships to determine actions steps to facilitate the handoff. I was often conferenced in on those meetings and was able to coach not only the senior lawyer, but also the others to come up with strategies to meet the clients and deepen the relationships.

Laterals Getting on the Internal Radar

A new lateral who was told work would come from others in the firm received no internal referrals during his first six months. He realized that no one really knew him, so there was little of the “know, like and trust” factor working in his favor. To overcome this obstacle, our strategy was for him to target key lawyers and proactively schedule meetings and social time with them. Within months, he received a flood of new work internally.

I used a similar strategy with a different lateral partner who possessed valuable skills but who was relatively unknown because he worked in a smaller satellite office. He traveled to the “mother ship” office, scheduled 13 meetings with other partners in one day (with the firm’s top rainmaker by his side), and within months he was referred three matters.

From Litigator to Cross-Seller

During a general downturn in litigation, a litigator’s practice literally dried up. We built an approach where she learned about other practices and reached out to her contacts on their behalf to pitch other work. She facilitated meetings and the firm was retained by several clients in other areas, which generated revenue for her and other firm lawyers.

Becoming #2

A partner at an IP boutique was targeting in-house counsel at Fortune 1000 companies. He realized they already had counsel, so he played the long game of seeking to become #2 on their lists for when “shift happens”. We built approaches where he targeted key prospects and built relationships by interviewing them for a newsletter he created just for this purpose, and over the years, when some of these clients were looking for new lawyers, he got the call.

Getting Internal Referrals After Transitioning to Partner

In many cases, when lawyers become partners, the work they had received from a small group of partners dries up. For many lawyers in this situation, I have them build their visibility and internal brand by conducting internal presentations and meeting with a new set of key partners (within their practice, and in other complementary practices), which often results in referrals of new work.

A Passion for Fashion

When probing to learn what areas of her practice she loved most, a lawyer shared her strong interest in the fashion industry. She had no work in that area when we began, so we built approaches where she would become known by top prospects. Years later, I learned that half of her book of business was filled with fashion industry clients, and she was thrilled with the direction of her career.

A Calling for Crypto

A high energy young litigator identified a niche in his firm that was not being filled, which was around cryptocurrency and blockchain litigation. He dove in, developed his knowledge, built a practice and became the head of the group that he created, thus positioning himself as the internal go-to resource for those issues.


Turning Retreats into Revenue

A number of firms have hired me to design and deliver planning sessions where lawyers from different practices got together to identify cross-opportunities. As an example, during a firm-wide partners meeting for one firm, they identified over $60 million in new opportunities, and in the year following the retreat they brought in about $10 million of new revenue based on those opportunities.

Virtual Leadership Planning Sessions

In response to the pandemic, several firms engaged me to design and deliver remotely led group leader planning sessions. The leaders chose topics relating to how to become more revenue-focused, and I conducted training and virtual group discussions on how to address their challenges and work together to build on their strengths. The results were stronger connections between leadership team members, deeper knowledge sharing and individual commitments to take action to attract new work.