The 17th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum & Dinner Changing Lanes: Customer-Driven Transformation Across the Enterprise

Event Details

Oct 24 - 26, 2018

New York, NY

$2195 USD

Register Now

For questions about this event, please call 1-800-308-1700

The Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute is pleased to present the 17th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum this October in New York City. The premier national summit for eponymous title holders and their peers, the Law Firm COO & CFO Forum continues its tradition of comprehensive professional education and networking opportunities for the Am Law 200 and beyond.

The 2018 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum (10/24)

This half-day program offers an interactive slate of timely topics devoted to financial performance and management of today’s law firms. Registration is capped to accommodate an educational environment where law firm executives can interact with colleagues and esteemed law firm clientele.

The COO & CFO Forum Welcome Dinner (10/24)  

Continuing a new conference tradition, we are pleased to announce our Wednesday night Welcome Dinner at the legendary Delmonico’s  — recognized as America’s very first fine dining restaurant (1837) and the birthplace of Eggs Benedict, Baked Alaska, Lobster Newburg, and Chicken A la Keene — in the heart of the Financial District. Register today and join fellow law firm professionals for a festive evening at one of New York’s most revered institutions.

The 17th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (10/25 – 10/26)

This year’s conference takes a comprehensive look at customer-driven transformation initiatives across the organization. As the legal services market continues to welcome new entrants and the ongoing encroachment of the Big Four into global markets, law firms are collaborating with their customers at a truly unprecedented rate, resulting in myriad operational innovations worthy of national attention. Register today and hear from a faculty at some of the most progressive firms in the profession.

Hotel room block information is accessible here.

In case you missed it, here are highlights from last year’s Forum:

Special Offers

Group discounts available. Please call 1-800-308-1700 for details.

Why You Should Attend

  • The Law Firm COO & CFO Forum is the premier gathering of eponymous title holders and their executive brethren from throughout the AmLaw 200.
  • Our forum addresses key developments and trends impacting the business of law.
  • We leverage industry-leading Thomson Reuters analytics to offer robust and substantive portraits of the North American legal market.
  • Conference attendees are able to network and engage their colleagues throughout three days of (in)formal dialogue.
  • As a takeaway, attendees can expect practical advice for improving one's productivity and anticipating firm needs in 2018 and beyond.

    Who Should Attend

  • Law Firm Chief Operating Officers
  • Law Firm Chief Financial Officers
  • Law Firm Executive Directors
  • Law Firm Directors of Finance
  • Law Firm Directors of Operations
  • Event Co-Chairs

    James Jones

    Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, Georgetown University Law Center

    View Faculty Page
    Meredith Mendes

    Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Jenner & Block LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Gretta Rusanow

    Head of Advisory Services, Law Firm Group, Citi Private Bank

    View Faculty Page

    Event Keynote Speaker

    Preet Bharara

    Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

    View Faculty Page

    Event Details

    Thursday, Oct 25

    8:00 AM
    Breakfast and Registration
    9:00 AM
    Opening Remarks
    9:15 AM
    The State of the U.S. Legal Market

    Strategic recalibration is never easy, especially in a profession where reversing course is often met with severe (if unequivocal) resistance. This year’s “State of the Legal Market” offers a comprehensive take on how law firms are (re)adjusting their organizational strategy in light of ongoing merger activity, battles for top talent, and the evolving legal customer profile. What impact have evolving customer expectations and a greater emphasis on profitability had on law firms today? What story does the latest industry data depict with respect to overall market health?

    James Jones, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, Georgetown University Law Center
    Gretta RusanowHead of Advisory Services, Law Firm Group, Citi Private Bank

    10:30 AM
    Morning Break
    10:45 AM
    A New Republic: Toward a Standardization of Outside Counsel Guidelines

    As corporate clients continue to assess the parameters of outside counsel relationships, law firm leaders grow ever more adamant in their desire for a standardized set of performance guidelines to help determine who wins or loses legal work. This presentation interrogates the viability and practicality of universally accepted rules of engagement to which all legal service providers can adhere. Is today’s legal services market closer to or father way from achieving professional consensus?

    12:00 PM
    Networking Luncheon
    1:00 PM
    1:15 PM
    Breakout #1: A Swift and Measured Response: Organizational & Client-Focused Responses After a Cyber Incident (Breakout)

    Those who have experienced a cyber incident compare it to a technological atom bomb. In addition to immediate chaos, the fallout and impact on client trust can be protracted, far-reaching and unpredictable. This session offers a frank discussion about responding to a cyberattack.  Panelists will offer powerful guidance around conducting an investigation, identifying and correcting vulnerabilities, communicating across the organization, and responding to customer and media outreach.

    Breakout #2: Untamed Wilds: New Data Intelligence Strategies within the Firm (Breakout)

    Thanks to the ongoing maturation of data analytics capabilities today, many firms are exploring ways to leverage internal data in identifying—and, in some cases, anticipating—the evolving needs of their clients. Knowledge management tools and processes are helping to amplify new opportunities in which attorney expertise and firm operations can be linked to provide a specialized client experience.  This discussion offers a practical take on some of the most successful data-driven initiatives in firms today. In addition to comprehensive case studies, our panel will discuss how ubiquitous, cross-industry demand for data professionals is impacting the war on talent.

    Breakout #3: Collaborative Gains: Leveraging the Multigenerational Law Firm Workforce (Breakout)

    As the face of the modern law firm client continues to shift toward a younger, more technologically savvy generation, law firms face an important responsibility in developing their in-house talent and fostering client pipelines. This session adopts a pragmatic tone in discussing various ways law firms can leverage their diverse workforce to recalibrate client teams and strengthen client relationships amidst the proverbial changing of the guard.

    Mary Jackson, Chief Officer, Professional Resources, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
    Terry Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, Ropes & Gray LLP

    2:30 PM
    Afternoon Break
    2:45 PM
    Measuring Value: New Employee Compensation Models Across the Firm

    “Value” is a common phrase on the lips of many law firm customers. Legal department budgets continue to hold steady, and general counsel are routinely looking to bring work in-house in order to control outside spend and operate more efficiently. How, at an organizational level, law firms respond to the needs of their clients is a crucial step in satisfying expectations around performance, accountability and transparency. This conversation looks inward to examine whether or not law firms are deploying the best compensation model for their talent. Have law firms done enough to align a culture of client service and “smart collaboration” (to borrow a phrase from Dr. Heidi K. Gardner) with individual performance?

    Sally King, Chief Operating Officer, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

    4:00 PM
    Roundtable #1: Intelligent Design: Assessing New Expense Planning Strategies in Law Firms (Breakout)

    A decade ago, law firms entered a period of dramatic cost-cutting that saw technology, talent, marketing and operations impacted like never before. Since then, as the legal services market continues its tepid recovery, law firms have focused more on growth opportunities, even while maintaining a watchful eye on expenses. This session offers a timely take on expense management strategies in firms today. What has changed in the way firms approach expenses since the Great Recession? Have advancements in technology and the evolving law firm business model impacted the ways firms construct their operating budget?

    C. W. Raines III, Chief Operating Officer, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

    Roundtable #2: When Partners Defect: Strategic Recalibration Models Across the Firm (Breakout)

    The departure of influential partners—or even entire practice groups—is a cruel reality in today’s legal market. How law firm management responds to such developments is especially important, especially when considering the potential impact on customer relations and overall strategic growth. This panel examines best practices and emerging strategies for change management and succession planning in both large and small firms.

    5:00 PM
    Thursday Night Reception

    Please join us for cocktails as we conclude our Thursday program.

    Friday, Oct 26

    8:30 AM
    Thomson Talks & Breakfast
    9:30 AM
    Invasive Maneuvers: Client-Focused Strategies Around the Big Four and Alternative Legal Service Providers

    With the ongoing evolution of Big Four accounting firms from multidisciplinary professional services firms to “globally integrated business solution providers,” law firms continue to assess the impact of how these formidable, multinational entities are impacting the global legal services market. Leveraging brand new conclusions from the 2018 Alternative Legal Service Study, this conversation offers a frank assessment of how global firms are adjusting their business and operational strategy in an era of rampant globalization.

    10:45 AM
    11:00 AM
    Conference Keynote: A Fireside Chat with Preet Bharara

    The Legal Executive Institute is honored to announce Preet Bharara as this year’s conference keynote. Mr. Bharara served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 – 2017 and earned a reputation as one of “the nation’s most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors,” according to The New York Times. Since 2017, Mr. Bharara has served as host of the podcast “Stay Tuned with Preet,” as a Senior Legal Analyst for CNN, and as Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the NYU School of Law.

    Axel Threlfall, Editor-at-Large, Reuters

    Preet Bharara, Former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (2009-2017)

    12:00 PM
    Closing Remarks
    Preet Bharara

    Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

    View Faculty Page


    Andaz Wall Street

    Andaz Wall Street
    75 Wall Street (at Water St.)
    New York, NY 10005

    Pre-Conference Workshop, COO/CFO Forum & Guest Room Block:

    Andaz Wall Street
    75 Wall Street
    New York, NY 10005

    Wednesday Welcome Dinner:

    Delmonico’s Restaurant
    56 Beaver Street
    New York, NY 10004

    *Delmonico’s is located within convenient walking distance of the Andaz.


    We have reserved a block of guest rooms at the Andaz Wall Street at a group rate of $415/night plus taxes.
    For reservations, please visit our dedicated booking link at:

    Alternatively, you may call the hotel directly at 212.591.1234 and ask for the Reservations Department (be sure to reference “Thomson Reuters’ COO/CFO Forum”. Note: Web reservations are preferred).
    The cut-off date for guest room reservations at the group rate is Monday,September 24, 2018. Rooms are subject to availability.
    For assistance with guest room reservations, please contact our Conference Planner, Meghan Landis, at

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    Andaz Wall Street


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