The 19th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum Weathering the Storm: New Directions in Law Firm Management

Am Law 200

Event Details

Oct 29 - 30, 2020

Remote

$1800 USD (Law Firm Attendees) - Special Virtual Pricing

Register Now

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

For the first time in its history, the Thomson Reuters Institute is pleased to present the 19th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum as an immersive, two-day, virtual experience for our loyal conference partners and guests. The premier (inter)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.

Plan to join us for all three program segments:

The 2020 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum (10/28) 

This virtual half-day program offers an interactive slate of timely topics devoted to financial performance and management of today’s law firms.

The COO & CFO Forum Virtual Welcome Reception (10/28)*  

We are proud to partner with First American Equipment Finance on a special virtual reception for registered law firm attendees.

*Please email lei@thomsonreuters.com for additional details.

The 19th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (10/29 – 10/30)

This year’s program takes a comprehensive dive into law firm management and financial health in the age of COVID-19.

Save the date! Online registration now available.

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 2020 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 W. Jones

    Senior Fellow, Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession, Georgetown University Law Center

    View Faculty Page
    Meredith Mendes

    Former 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 Speakers

    Martin Neil Baily

    Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development, The Brookings Institute

    View Faculty Page
    Mara Liasson

    National Political Correspondent, NPR & Contributor, Fox News Channel

    View Faculty Page

    Event Details

    Thursday, Oct 29

    10:00 AM EDT
    Doors Open/Virtual Networking
    10:30 AM
    Partner Talks

    Please join us for two twenty-minute executive presentations from some of our conference partners.

    Partner Talk #1: Uninvited: Fraud and Its Origins During the Pandemic
    Throughout the pandemic, law enforcement reporting and mainstream media commentary have outlined various types of fraud frequently deployed to trick unsuspecting business executives. Now more than ever, businesses must mitigate potential risk by thoroughly understanding the most common typologies and associated methodologies favored by nefarious actors. This presentation offers a brief tutorial on one of the most pervasive and dynamic forms of fraud today: business email compromise. What precautions should business leaders take to stave off a would-be attack?

    Presenter:
    Alex Beavan, Leader, Financial Intelligence Unit, Western Union Business Solutions

     

    Partner Talk #2: Outsourcing : Friend or Foe?
    Outsourcing has been on the rise since the 2008 economic downturn. Indeed, as annually chronicled in the Georgetown/Peer Monitor State of the Legal Market Report, outsourcing grew as an acceptable strategy for law firms seeking to control costs and offer greater matter efficiency in a newly christened legal buyer’s market. Facing yet another round of challenges in 2020, what should law firms do now? Outsource more or less?  Outsourcing is not a cure-all, but it can be an effective strategy given specific circumstances and agreements. Join Rob Mattern, President of Mattern & Associates, an unbiased law firm support services consultancy and outsourcing expert of the law firm back and middle office, for a timely presentation on when to keep services in-house, when to outsource, and what can be achieved along the way.

    Presenter:
    Rob Mattern, President, Mattern & Associates

    12:00 PM EDT
    Opening Remarks
    12:05 PM EDT
    The State of the US Legal Market

    Ten months ago, buoyed in large part by a vibrant US economy, law firms and their peers held high hopes that 2020 would further contribute to the positive, albeit cautious, recovery of the global legal profession. Since then, and for obvious reasons, such optimism may have precipitously waned. This year’s presentation offers a thoughtful take on what year-to-date industry data portends for legal service providers across the nation.  Can the Am Law 200 maintain momentum despite unexpected setbacks? Or will the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial ramifications raise new challenges for law firms and their non-traditional brethren?

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

    1:20 PM EDT
    Networking Break
    1:40 PM EDT
    The Risen Deep: Assessing Law Firm Operations in the COVID-19 Era

    Even before the global health crisis thrust markets into chaos, cracks in the very foundation of a prevailing law firm-centric business model were already present as clients continued to exert greater influence over legal matters and forced firms to adapt in kind. Enter 2020. And with rote competition coalescing behind the Next Normal’s strange vicissitudes, one can easily appreciate the daunting task law firm executives face today. This session considers new operating guidelines in place across the profession. Our panel will address changes to organizational infrastructure, technology, remote working, real estate, and talent amidst such heightened uncertainty.

    Moderator:
    Christopher Kraft, General Manager, Operations and Finance Solutions, Intapp

    Panelists:
    Ralph Allen, Chief Operating Officer, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP
    Robert K. Burger, Global Chief Operating Officer, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.
    Jane C. Koehl, Chief Operating Officer, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
    Steven Petrie, Americas Chief Operating Officer, White & Case LLP

    2:55 PM EDT
    Networking Break
    3:15 PM EDT
    Keynote Conversation: Drums of Autumn: Economic & Business Implications of the US 2020 Election

    The socioeconomic and political implications of the 2020 US Presidential election are profound and manifold. Prior to COVID-19’s arrival, Donald J. Trump’s hopes of a November reelection were buoyed by a dynamic US economy and historically low unemployment rate that cast his Democratic challenger at a sizable disadvantage. Since then, winds of change have reset the political landscape, adding tremendous tension to an already combustible situation. This keynote offers a timely exploration of the US economic outlook under a Republican or Democratic administration. What clues do current market conditions augur for the remaining calendar year and beyond?

    Moderator:
    Andy Sullivan, Washington D.C. Correspondent, Reuters

    Presenters:
    Dr. Martin Neil Baily, Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development & Senior Fellow – Economic Studies, Center on Regulation and Markets, The Brookings Institute
    Mara Liasson, National Political Correspondent, NPR & Contributor, Fox News Channel

    4:15 PM EDT
    Networking Break
    4:30 PM EDT
    Breakout #1: Hidden Paths: Reevaluating Firm Practice Matrices in the Current Market (Breakout)

    Recent events have yielded a waxing and waning of practice group activity at firms across the globe. For every narrative of growth and opportunity, a corresponding instance of muted performance seems to follow. Such is life in the COVID-19 era. This panel invites perspectives from law firm leaders on how each is guiding firmwide profitability amidst uneven practice group performance. How concerned should executives be about current trends? What short- or long-term strategies are firms deploying to generate business?

    Moderator:
    Rob Stote, Director of Client Services, BigHand

    Panelists:
    Toby Brown, Chief Practice Management Officer, Perkins Coie LLP
    Alex Macdonald, Chief Client Value & Practice Management Officer, McCarter & English LLP
    William M. Washington, III, Chief Financial Officer, Hogan Lovells LLP

    Breakout #2: Adaptive Design: Evolving Law Firm Client Service Models (Breakout)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired firms to rethink their client service model in any number of creative ways, including enhanced client service or practice teams, amended pricing strategies, or more comprehensive client feedback and listening initiatives. Whether in large or small organizations, client service innovation has proven itself a critical growth lever, and law firm executives play key roles in establishing focus, accountability, and quantifiable measurables to engineer success. This breakout highlights agile behaviors at prominent firms known for their outstanding client service commitment. What lesson(s) have recent events provided in our new economic reality?

    Moderator:
    Sameena Kluck, Strategic Account Executive, LawGeex

    Panelists:
    Paul Boken, Chief Operating Officer, Dykema Gossett PLLC
    Amanda M. Bruno, Chief Business Development Officer, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP
    James A. Durham, Chief Client Service Officer, Shipman & Goodwin LLP

    Breakout #3: A Fell Clutch of Circumstance: Navigating the New Risk Environment (Breakout)

    As businesses push for a return to normalcy, many will encounter a new risk environment colored by apprehension and uncertainty. At firms around the world, building a multi-disciplinary COVID-19 resource team is merely the first in a series of comprehensive risk mitigation techniques incorporated across the enterprise. Additional considerations include the impact of recent events on client relationships, external partner engagement, interactions with courts or regulatory bodies, technology and data privacy guidelines, and people management and culture. This breakout offers a timely exploration of key pressure points and strategic approaches leveraged at leading firms.

    Moderator:
    Haile Arrindell, Director, Market Development, Global Large Law, Thomson Reuters

    Panelists:
    Mark Combs, Chief Information Officer, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC
    Tracy Elmblad, Chief Information & Operations Officer, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
    Mat Rosswood, Chief Operating Officer, Kramer Levin LLP

    5:30 PM EDT
    Thursday Night Reception

    Friday, Oct 30

    10:00 AM EDT
    Doors Open/Virtual Networking
    10:30 AM EDT
    Partner Talks

    Please join us for a two twenty-minute executive presentations from some of our conference partners.

    Partner Talk #1:
    How Your Firm’s Post-Pandemic Recovery will be Driven by Data on Pricing and Profitability
    As an executive, understanding your firm’s data and the role it plays in driving revenue is paramount in today’s business climate. Indeed, without enhanced data-driven processes and robust information governance, law firm operations and customer-centric value offerings fall well short in helping both small and large organizations maximize their financial gain or compete for new work. This presentation offers immediate impact for firm leaders looking to identify and leverage important data streams across their firm. Participants will discover how to harness data in a more bespoke manner as well as how to drive profitability through process improvements, better pricing initiatives, and more transparent client experience.

    Presenter:
    Pieter van der Hoeven, CEO, Clocktimizer

     

    Partner Talk #2:
    Getting the House in Order: Exploring Digital Transformation Strategies for Your Firm’s IT Environment
    Every firm views their IT environment differently.  Some see IT as an operating cost, others utilize technology for process efficiency or leverage digital technologies as a strategic advantage.  However one’s approach, what is mostly true of each firm’s experience is that expectation does not always reflect current reality.  Join us as we consider the importance of understanding your firm’s current technological investment and how a digital roadmap may provide direction for a desired future. As an added bonus, our session presenter will also review some of the simple steps firms can take to begin/jump start their digital journey.

    Presenter:
    Karen Wiltgen, Principal, RSM US LLP

    12:00 PM EDT
    Pattern Recognition: Predicting Matter Leakage and Driving Client Profitability through Data Analysis

    This workshop offers a robust examination of law firm predictive analytics’ role in creating proactive insights around matter profitability and financial risk. Leveraging a real-world case study, our presenters will address the challenges associated with pre-engagement financial diligence, client matter intake and selection, risk profiling, partner risk assessment, and data-driven systematic monitoring in all types of legal work. Attendees will gain valuable insights around matter monitoring (based on conditional alerts), how to selectively engage partners and coach them for improved profitability, and how to create and manage profit playbooks or life cycle profitability.

    Moderator:
    Mark Medice, Principal & Head of Financial Performance and Data Science Practice, LawVision Group LLC
    James H. Shoemaker, Director of Pricing and Matter Management, Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.

    1:15 PM EDT
    Networking Break
    1:30 PM EDT
    A History of Silence: Race and Inequality in the Practice of Law

    George Floyd’s death at the hands of police brought to the fore deeply rooted tensions surrounding racism and racial inequality in the US judicial system and broader society. In response to the killing, many legal service providers offered powerful messages denouncing racial inequality and vowing change amidst a sea of public protests. And yet, even as well-intentioned platitudes made their way across the media, the actions of a profession long plagued by its lack of diverse talent struck many as disingenuous or hypocritical. The Legal Executive Institute is pleased to present a closing keynote on the state of racial diversity and inclusion in law firms today. Our presenters will offer important guidance on historical lessons learned and pathways forward for law firms to improve upon a history of diverse underrepresentation.

    Moderators:
    Carlos Pauling, Executive Director, Partner Practice Group, Major, Lindsey & Africa
    Dustin Laws, Managing Director, Major, Lindsey & Africa

    Panelists:
    Jared F. Bartie, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
    Nina Godiwalla, US Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
    Alison Nelson, Managing Counsel, Franchise, Facilities, Insurance Defense and Health/ Safety, Ford Motor Co.

    2:45 PM EDT
    Networking Break
    3:00 PM EDT
    Special Interest Roundtable #1: The Pains of Progress: Recalibrating Talent Acquisition & Employee Recruitment (Breakout)

    An important consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is the impact on the normal cadence—indeed parameters—of law firm recruitment efforts and employee assessment across the Am Law 200. On the one hand, opportunistic firms are taking advantage of COVID-19-induced salary cuts to sell greener pastures to lateral talent and entire practice groups. On the other hand, the unprecedented and largely unique nature of the pandemic portends a fundamental shift in what firms look for when evaluating core skill sets in prospective and current employees a shift realized in part by the struggle to evaluate employee performance amidst almost exclusively remote work arrangements. This conversation offers an important philosophical and practical exploration of changes to law firm hiring proclivities amidst the new frontiers of talent acquisition and talent management.

    Moderator:
    Michael Ellenhorn, Founder and CEO, Decipher

    Panelists:
    Nick Bruch, Lead Strategic Analyst, Legal and Tax, EY
    Mary Jackson, Chief Officer, Professional Resources, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
    Sue Manch, Chief Talent Officer, Winston & Strawn LLP
    John E. Yoshimura, Chief Operating Officer, McDermott Will & Emery

    Special Interest Roundtable #2: Scaling the Summit: Fiscal Strategy & Business Growth at Midsize Firms (Breakout)

    Across the legal profession, the financial fallout from the global COVID-19 pandemic has been swift, decisive, and for some, uneven. Whereas some legal service providers find themselves able to ride out the proverbial storm, others face the peril of stranger tides with scant if any safe harbors in sight. This conversation offers a comprehensive dive into how recent events have specifically impacted the midsize law firm community. How have firms succeeded in maintaining business continuity while engaging customers throughout the past few months? Attendees are invited to share their own experiences as we look forward to brighter days ahead.

    Moderator:
    Jordan Schuetzle, Director, Proposition Strategy & Market Development Lead, Thomson Reuters

    Panelists:
    Justin Cheseroni, Chief Financial Officer, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
    Meg Holman, Chief Operating Officer, FordHarrison LLP
    Cal Watson, Managing Member, Robinson Gray

    Special Interest Roundtable #3: Stark Revelations: Reassessing Technological Investments After COVID-19 (Breakout)

    Like all businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic forcibly pushed the legal profession to leverage a wide swath of technology to meet organizational and customer demands. At many firms, virtual meeting platforms and remote access technology offered an initial reprieve in the early weeks of the crisis. Yet, with the stark realities of the COVID-19 era still continuing to emerge, many firms are beginning to revisit their technological investments in anticipation of a dreaded “second wave.” This session offers an earnest look at evolving technological needs and priorities across the Am Law 200. Our panel will address new and ongoing cybersecurity concerns, remote working models, emerging technically enabled time and billing efficiencies, and the growing importance of cloud-based solutions to help accelerate the ways lawyers work.

    Moderator:
    Cindy Thurston Bare, Vice President, Customer Product Management, Foundation Software Group

    Panelists:
    Gavin Gray, Chief Operating Officer, K&L Gates LLP
    Gillian Power, Chief Information Officer, Lathrop GPM
    C.W. Raines III, Chief Operating Officer, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum
    Ryan Steadman, Chief Revenue Officer, ZERO
    Eric Wangler, President, BigHand

    4:00 PM EDT
    Conclusion
    Ralph Allen

    Chief Operating Officer, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Haile Arrindell

    Director, Market Development, Global Large Law, Thomson Reuters

    View Faculty Page
    Martin Neil Baily

    Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development, The Brookings Institute

    View Faculty Page
    Jared Bartie

    Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Alex Beavan

    Leader, Financial Intelligence Unit, Western Union Business Solutions

    View Faculty Page
    Paul R. Boken

    Chief Operating Officer, Dykema Gossett PLLC

    View Faculty Page
    Toby Brown

    Chief Practice Management Officer, Perkins Coie LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Nick Bruch

    Lead Strategic Analyst, Legal and Tax, EY

    View Faculty Page
    Amanda Bruno

    Chief Business Development Officer, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Robert Burger

    Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC

    View Faculty Page
    Justin Cheseroni

    Chief Financial Officer, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Mark Combs

    Chief Information Officer, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC

    View Faculty Page
    James Durham

    Chief Client Service Officer, Shipman & Goodwin LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Michael Ellenhorn

    Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Decipher

    View Faculty Page
    Tracy Elmblad

    Chief Information & Operations Officer, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Nina Godiwalla

    US Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Gavin Gray

    Chief Operating Officer, K&L Gates LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Meg Holman

    Chief Operating Officer, FordHarrison LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Mary Jackson

    Chief Officer, Professional Resources, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Sameena Kluck

    Strategic Account Executive, LawGeex

    View Faculty Page
    Jane Koehl

    Chief Operating Officer, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Christopher Kraft

    General Manager, Operations and Finance Solutions, Intapp

    View Faculty Page
    Dustin Laws

    Managing Director, Major, Lindsey & Africa

    View Faculty Page
    Mara Liasson

    National Political Correspondent, NPR & Contributor, Fox News Channel

    View Faculty Page
    Alex Macdonald

    Chief Client Value & Practice Management Officer, McCarter & English LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Susan Manch

    Chief Talent Officer, Winston & Strawn LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Rob Mattern

    President & Founder, Mattern & Associates, LLC

    View Faculty Page
    Mark Medice

    Principal, LawVision Group LLC

    View Faculty Page
    Alison Nelson

    Managing Counsel, Franchise, Facilities, Insurance Defense and Health/ Safety, Ford Motor Co.

    View Faculty Page
    Carlos Pauling

    Executive Director, Partner Practice Group, Major, Lindsey & Africa

    View Faculty Page
    Steven R. Petrie

    Americas, Chief Operating Officer, White & Case LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Gillian Power

    Chief Information Officer, Lathrop GPM

    View Faculty Page
    C.W. Raines III

    Chief Operating Officer, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum

    View Faculty Page
    Mat Rosswood

    Chief Operating Officer, Kramer Levin LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Jordan Schuetzle

    Director, Proposition Strategy & Market Development Lead, Thomson Reuters

    View Faculty Page
    James Shoemaker

    Director of Pricing and Matter Management, Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.

    View Faculty Page
    Ryan Steadman

    Chief Revenue Officer, ZERØ

    View Faculty Page
    Rob Stote

    Director of Client Services, BigHand

    View Faculty Page
    Andy Sullivan

    Washington D.C. Correspondent, Reuters

    View Faculty Page
    Cindy Thurston Bare

    Vice President, Customer Product Management, Foundation Software Group

    View Faculty Page
    William M. Washington III

    Chief Financial Officer, Hogan Lovells LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Cal Watson

    Managing Member, Robinson Gray

    View Faculty Page
    Karen Wiltgen

    Principal, RSM US LLP

    View Faculty Page
    John Yoshimura

    Chief Operating Officer, McDermott Will & Emery

    View Faculty Page

    Accreditation

    Sponsors of This Event

    ×