Week two is done!
Another week and we are over halfway thought the first WLG eConference. More new faces this week and always a delight to see familiar ones. There is still time to sign up for next week's sessions including the Asia Regional Meeting, Marketing and Business Development Professionals Meeting, and more practice group meetings. Be sure to check the schedule and remind colleagues in your firm they are welcome to attend. Here is a recap of the discussions during week two. Please feel free to circulate in your firm.
Small Group Discussion Highlights
- Opportunities exist in blockchain technology as a growth industry. This area will impact many sectors - healthcare, education, finance, governments, data, security, etc., and multiple practice areas.
- Find compassion for clients who may be struggling. Sacrificing short-term revenue may prove to be a valued long-term play.
- There is increased demand and opportunities in co-working spaces, software and subscription-based technology, and telecommunications infrastructure companies, while commercial and urban real estate stand to suffer.
Plenary Session: "A Remote World: Lessons and Predictions of Rapid Adaptation"
- While there were reservations about the effectiveness of working from home before the pandemic, both partners and associates are finding work productivity the same or better and value the additional flexibility — but for different reasons. As technology infrastructure continues to advance, it's unlikely firms, or the rest of the world will go back to 100% in-office arrangements.
- Scrutiny of cybersecurity and privacy will continue. Organizations will require enhanced security as they adapt to a new digital economy, including online shareholder voting, supreme court proceedings, cabinets, and more.
- The lasting impacts of consumer behavioral changes to travel, hospitality, and real estate will cause significant damage to these industries and the local economies that rely on them.
Young Lawyer Virtual Roundtables (EMEA and Americas)
- Participants agreed conversations and collaborations are enriched and valued between generations. They found similarities in work values rather than differences.
- Succession planning takes five to seven years to transfer a client to a new key contact partner successfully. Coaching, support and a long runway for both the senior partner and the partner taking over during the transition period are needed.
- Law firms can be traditional, attracting personalities that value those traits, making retention of those who value flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking challenging to retain.
- While people find productivity in working from home, they also look forward to returning to the office — multiple generations agree three days a week is optimal.
- Following the return to work, there is an opportunity to leverage the technology put in place to develop and manage work and business relationships effectively.
Business Development Committee Meeting
Part 1: Best Practices: Remote Working - Victor Xercavins, Cuatrecasas
- The firm started a flexible work arrangement in March 2018 to be a differentiator in the market and attract/retain young talent.
- The program is open to staff, associates and partners and allows them to use flexible work arrangements for up to 20% of their billable time..
- Once COVID-19 hit, the firm was in a better position to handle the transition. Everyone had the tools and equipment for working remotely and had experienced more flexible arrangements working together and with clients.
Part 2: Business Development During the Pandemic - Building and Maintaining Relationships Remotely
- Reach out to clients proactively to ask how they're doing and find out what their companies are asking of them. Please don't make it all about business;
listen to their concerns expressing compassion and understanding.
- Alumni that are now in-house can be an excellent resource for understanding companies' current needs and potential future needs.
- Cross-solving is important now more than ever: understand the full capabilities of your firm and the WLG network.
- Firms need to "bridge the gap" between publishing/sharing content and a targeted approach to business development.
- Be creative! Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg has partnered with a local restaurant to serve up a "virtual cocktail" program with home delivery and video conference chat with targeted clients.
Life Sciences Group: "International Regulatory Initiatives Directed at Improving the Delivery of Healthcare in the Fight Against COVID-19"
- Regulators are expediting the approval of new drugs, vaccines and medical devices and relaxing regulatory and reporting requirements for COVID-19 related drugs, foods and medical devices.
- There is increased cross-border cooperation between regulatory agencies and mechanisms in place to identify and remedy shortages in drugs and other necessary items.
- Competition law is being altered to permit cooperation toward COVID-19 related goals among competitors. There is increased scrutiny in advertising.
Week three schedule
May 17 | 03:30 UTC
asia regional meeting
May 19 | 14:00 UTC
joint webinar: intellectual property & information technology and international trade groups
may 20 | 13:00 utc
international corporate transactions group
may 21 | 14:00 utc
Marketing & Business Development Professionals Forum Meeting