Redefining the business of law
McCarthy Denning is a full service international law firm with a difference. Partner-only advice, flexible fee arrangements and no chargeable hours targets are just some of the ways in which we are redefining the law firm model to meet the needs of clients in the 21st century. You will be amazed at just how good a law firm can be when it is focused on your needs rather than those of the firm - when the metric for performance is client satisfaction and not profits-per-partner.
Warren Wooldridge and Richard Beresford are co-founders of McCarthy Denning. Together they have overseen the growth of the company since its launch in 2013. The firm’s vision has always been clear– to build a firm of renowned lawyers from International and City firms, who are leading experts in their fields. This vision remains unchanged.
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The McCarthy Denning Philosophy
At McCarthy Denning we call ourselves a 'next generation law firm'. What do we mean by that and how exactly are we 'redefining the business of law'?
The key elements of the McCarthy Denning model
When we set out to create McCarthy Denning we started by asking our clients and colleagues to challenge everything about the traditional City law firm. We wanted to understand what it was about existing firms that clients and lawyers alike were finding so frustrating. No aspect escaped scrutiny and at the end of it all we had a radically different model for the delivery of high quality legal services, a brand new philosophy of legal business.
We hope you will agree with our many clients (who include major international financial institutions, high net worth individuals, listed companies, private groups and entrepreneurs) that McCarthy Denning’s philosophy has broken the mould – and there is no going back.
Our advice is formulated and delivered by partners with major law firm pedigrees, not by juniors and trainees. We harness the skills, experience and contacts of senior lawyers for the benefit of clients.
City law firms are traditionally structured with comparatively few partners at the top who are encouraged to push client work as far as possible down the ‘pyramid’ to much larger numbers of less experienced lawyers, where it can be done most profitably from the firm’s point of view. At McCarthy Denning we do not employ ranks of junior lawyers so there is no imperative for us to find work for them to do at our clients’ expense.
Where less experienced lawyers are needed for certain tasks we use specialist paralegals, barristers or junior solicitors sourced on an hourly or daily basis. This means they are only used where needed for the expeditious handling of client matters and not to generate extra profit for the firm or utilise fixed overhead. It also means that our clients avoid having to pay for the on-the-job training of junior lawyers.
Vastly reduced overheads
Engaging a major law firm should be about buying intellectual capacity and expertise, not impressive architecture or marketing materials. We have eschewed the ostentatious offices of the traditional international firm and our lawyers instead work from hot-desking hubs or remotely. We have also outsourced all the functions which normally feed the overheads of more traditional counterparts, from secretarial services and document production through to marketing and PR.
No chargeable hours targets
Because of the innovative, entrepreneurial way in which we remunerate our lawyers, they do not have chargeable hours targets. Removing the constraints of the billable hour facilitates greater creativity from our lawyers and real value-added solutions for our clients. Our lawyers take a fresh approach to their work – one more concerned with quality than quantity. Flexible working arrangements for our lawyers encourage a closer working relationship with our clients.
Flexible billing structures
The other elements of our business model allow us to offer the charging arrangements which a growing number of clients are demanding – such as success fees, conditional fees and fixed fees – in a way that really works; where the partner delivers right to the end no matter how much time is “on the clock”.
We are able to utilise levels of IT security and redundancy that were beyond the reach of all but the largest firms only a few years ago. Our Practice Management Solution is state-of-the-art and underpins our entire model, bringing greater efficiency and transparency for our clients and more control and flexibility for our lawyers.
As well as great pedigrees, our lawyers share the ability and willingness to think intelligently, to see clients’ problems and goals not just in terms of legal issues, but of commercial or personal outcomes as well. That means being truly proactive, bringing innovative ideas and a wealth of contacts from around the world to create opportunities as well as present solutions.
Everything we do is driven by client needs. Our entrepreneurial business structure allows our lawyers to focus on the practice of law, while experienced business leaders manage the infrastructure and delivery of legal services. An advisory board of non-lawyers (CEO’s, entrepreneurs and members of other professions) keeps us in touch with what clients are thinking, enabling us to continually fine-tune what we do.