It’s been an interesting year in the legal industry. All of us, active or retired, can see it is changing rapidly
Complex challenges face the leaders of law firms today. Lawyers are reappraising how they work and what they want from their careers; clients are reviewing the services they want from their lawyers. Technology is increasingly important in delivering client solutions, but equally, firms recognise that retaining their best talent is crucial for success in the changing competitive landscape.
The changing face of law and the future of legal talent is this year’s theme, and through it we explore some of these developments and how A&O is facing up to the challenges of being an elite law firm in a changing world.
In this environment, talent goes far beyond the traditional skills associated with a lawyer. A challenge yes, but exciting too. Our feature on finding the lawyer of the future discusses how A&O is competing against a number of organisations, not just law firms, to attract the best talent.
Recruiting and then retaining that talent increasingly calls for offering attractive and challenging alternatives to a traditional career in a law firm. Consultancy is one; flexible working is another. In this edition, we hear from the Peerpoint team about the rapid increase of consultants in the legal market, while A&O alumna Beatrice Vos discusses her career to date including how flexible working can help organisations retain talent which in the past would have been lost. We also learn from a number of ‘boomerangs’ – individuals who have rejoined A&O – what attracted them back.
We pride ourselves on being excellent lawyers, but this is no longer enough: the firm also needs technological expertise to stay ahead of the game. You can read about how A&O is diversifying services and products to meet client needs in our feature on the new Markets Innovation Group.
Elsewhere in this edition, we hear about what the future holds for our Hong Kong and Tokyo offices as they celebrate their 30th anniversaries and the inspiring work of A&O’s global charity partnerships with War Child and Hope and Homes for Children. The generosity of A&O made a significant contribution to the former; we are certain that generosity will apply equally to the latter.
In their yearly update, Wim Dejonghe and Andrew Ballheimer reflect on their first two years in office together, plans to continue to build the business for the next generation and the firm’s diversity strategy.
These are exciting times and who knows what 2019 will bring? However, Wim and Andrew are in no doubt about what underpins A&O in the ranks of global elite firms. The culture of A&O is special; it derives from a concerted effort from everyone in the firm to make A&O a collaborative place of work staffed by talented people. Collaboration and talent as a combination go a long way to explaining our success.
We hope you enjoy this year’s edition and look forward to an exciting 2019 for the Alumni Network.
With best wishes,
Mahmood and Boyan
Co-Chairs, Alumni Network