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Collaboration Focus: Incentivising collaboration within the fee earning model

We all know the benefits of collaboration. But if that is well acknowledged both in theory and practice, why do we find it so hard? Or why do people make it so hard to do?

We all know the benefits of collaboration. But if that is well acknowledged both in theory and practice, why do we find it so hard? According to Deloitte, companies that prioritise collaboration are twice as likely to be profitable and twice as likely to outgrow competitors. Interestingly it’s a similar challenge around diversity. It is well documented that a diverse leadership team leads to increased profitability, yet this is also slow to change.

Collaboration takes time, commitment, patience and prioritisation. From a law firm and fee earner perspective the prioritisation of time to collaborate is one of the biggest challenges. This is not new information of course, in fact, it is something debated regularly at the various legal innovation forums. Including how fee earners can be tempted to attend these forums! Whether it’s collaborating with a client, a vendor, such as a LegalTech company, or internally, unless there is a clear and relatively fast RoI, it’s a challenge to justify the time away from billable hours.

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Rachel Barnes

Rachel Barnes

Herbert Smith Freehills
Rachel is Head of Collaborations, Ashurst Advance. Previously Rachel was Innovation Lead, UK, US & EMEA at Herbert Smith Freehills. Rachel has spent time exploring the broader innovation and start-up space, spending time consulting for Janders Dean, Innovation Beehive, a variety of start-ups and also managing an HR Tech focussed start-up incubator. Prior to that, she had a varied and fruitful 11 years at BNP Paribas running consecutively, the Innovation, Transformation, Client Relationship Management teams in Global Markets.