The 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum & Dinner The Parallax View: A 10-Year Industry Retrospective

Event Details

Oct 25 - 27, 2017

New York, NY


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

The 2017 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum (10/25)

Profitability and practice management have never been more critical in the current landscape. As noted in the 2017 State of the Legal Market, legal market realities are such that law firms must redesign their approaches to client service, pricing, legal work processes, talent management and overall business structure to maintain any competitive advantage. Armed with exclusive industry analytics and a faculty of accomplished law firm executives, the 2017 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum will deliver invaluable, essential advice for immediate use.

The 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum Welcome Dinner (10/25)

Continuing a new conference tradition, we are pleased to announce our Wednesday night Welcome Dinner at Little Park in the Smyth Hotel in New York’s stylish TriBeCa neighborhood. Celebrity chef Andrew Carmellini’s farm-to-table menu of “colorful,” “otherworldly” Mediterranean-inspired fare is a “classy” offering where New York’s “chic,” well-heeled cognoscenti partake in “beautifully conceived” cuisine and “inspired” cocktails. Seating is extremely limited.

The 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (10/26 – 10/27)

The Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute is pleased to present the 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum this October at the New York Downtown Marriott. The premier national summit for law firm officers 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. This year’s theme is a ten year retrospective on legal services since the Great Recession.

Online registration now available! Hotel room block information is accessible here.

In case you missed it, here are some faculty 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

    Pricing Options (USD)


    $2195  – The 2017 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum, Wednesday Dinner & Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (Oct 25-27)

    $1990 – The 2017 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum & 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (Oct 25-27)

    $1890 – Wednesday Dinner & The Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (October 25-27)


    $1595 – The 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum (Oct 26-27)

    $495  – The Law Firm Financial Performance Forum (Oct 25)

    $395 – Wednesday Night Dinner (October 25)


  • Event Co-Chairs

    James Jones

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

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    Dan DiPietro

    Managing Director & Chairman, Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group

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    Meredith Mendes

    Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Jenner & Block LLP

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    Event Keynote Speaker

    Rob Cross

    Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Business, Babson College

    View Faculty Page

    Event Details

    Wednesday, Oct 25

    5:00 PM
    Welcome Reception

    Relax and unwind on the Mezzanine level for cocktails and canapés as we wrap up our 2017 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum and kick off our Law Firm COO & CFO Forum.

    Thursday, Oct 26

    8:00 AM
    Breakfast & Registration
    9:00 AM
    Opening Remarks
    9:15 AM
    Ten Years in Turmoil: The State of the US Legal Market (2007-2017)

    In the ten years since Steve Jobs debuted the iPhone, the Boston Red Sox won their seventh World Series, and a young Illinois Senator declared his US Presidential candidacy, the US legal services market has undergone remarkable transformation and stress. From high-profile mergers to the fall of Dewey & LeBoeuf, the past decade has offered a sobering portrait of how quickly an industry notoriously resistant to change has been forced to survive and adapt. This year’s State of the Legal Market offers a comprehensive study of ten years’ worth of data delving into segmentation, differentiation, and the perpetually shrinking legal pie.

    James Jones, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, Georgetown University Law Center
    Dan DiPietro, Managing Director & Chairman, Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group

    10:30 AM
    Morning Break
    10:45 AM
    Boats Against the Current: The Evolving Law Firm Business Model

    How has the classic law firm business model evolved over the past decade? What impact has client pressure around key business matters such as pricing, transparency, diversity and efficiency had on operational and financial strategy across the firm? This conversation offers an earnest inquiry into the future and practicality of existing law firm management and governance structures. Building upon statistical findings from the previous session, our panel considers how and why firms are exploring an alternative approach to law firm governance with an eye on maintaining ample flexibility in the market.

    Nicholas Quil
    , President, HBR Consulting LLC

    Karen L. Braun, Executive Director, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    Michael R. Caplan, Chief Operating Officer, Goodwin LLP
    Jeffrey Connor, Chief Financial Officer, McGuireWoods LLP
    David Gaulin, Partner & US Law Firm Services Practice Leader, PwC
    Dr. James G. Perkins, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Compliance Officer, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP
    Hal Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

    12:15 PM
    Networking Luncheon
    1:15 PM
    A Culture of Stars: Winning with Laterals in the Current Market (Breakout)

    Growth by any means necessary has been an industry-wide mantra since well before the Great Recession. Indeed, in a profession forged upon individual reputations and brand prestige, a culture of stars, replete with stratospheric salaries and healthy egos, has yielded a vicious cycle of hype and hope for many within the AmLaw 200. Still, despite such lamentable circumstances, some firms have found success with an artfully orchestrated lateral strategy–and many continue to aggressively bolster their rosters despite abundant public sentiment to the contrary. This round table invites participants to share practical opinions on what a successful lateral hiring approach truly looks like. What criteria separates winners from losers in the current climate?

    Mark Medice, Senior Director, New Initiatives, Intapp, Inc.

    Cathyann Bixby, Chief Attorney Recruiting & Integration Officer, Ballard Spahr LLP
    David Boden, Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Snell & Wilmer LLP
    Allen Gilbert, Chief Financial Officer, Vinson & Elkins LLP
    Josh Kubicki, Chief Strategy Officer, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
    Nolan W. Kurtz, Chief Operating Officer, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

    The Market Settling: Winning with Specialization Amid Market Segmentation (Breakout)

    Since 2008, practice specialization has garnered significant interest throughout the AmLaw 200. Decisions by firms to maintain or adopt a “best in breed” model have yielded uneven results, with several enjoying robust profits, often at the expense of their peers. Bolstered by exclusive ten year Peer Monitor analyses, this session examines profitability and ROI behind segmentation strategy across the profession. How has practice specialization affected value from a client and firm perspective? What lessons should law firms remember in order to remain competitive for the long haul?

    Carolyn Dolci, Partner, EisnerAmper LLP

    Richard J. Anderson, Principal & Chief Operating Officer, Fish & Richardson P.C.
    Steven Di Fiore, Chief Operating Officer, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
    Jessica Pavlik, Chief Operating Officer, Berger Singerman LLP
    Brent Turner, Manager, Peer Monitor, Thomson Reuters
    Dr. Evan ParkerManaging Director, Analytics & Research, LawyerMetrix

    Model Behavior: Winning with Pricing & Legal Project Management After 2007 (Breakout)

    Over the past decade, law firms have invested heavily in developing various pricing strategies to meet client demands. Whether through pricing specialist staffing or investments in legal project management and technology, firms are competing to reach an ideal price point where profitability and value coalesce. This breakout examines what has worked—and what has not—over the past ten years. Colleagues are asked to ponder the most effective pricing model in an era of doing “more with less.”

    Patrick E. Johansen,Global Director of Client Value, Reed Smith LLP

    Matthew N. Beekhuizen, Chief Pricing Officer, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
    Doug Doerfler, Chief Strategy & Pricing Officer, Stinson Leonard Street LLP
    Christopher P. Ende, Law Firm Pricing, Solutions, and Panel Management Leader, General Electric
    Linda Novosel, Chief Pricing & LPM Officer, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

    2:30 PM
    Afternoon Break
    2:45 PM
    Keynote Presentation: Innovation and Organic Growth through Networks

    Innovation (product, process and business model) remains central to an organization’s ability to adapt to changing markets and technologies. However, increased complexity of most new products and services, reduced development cycles, and leaner budgets have meant that innovation efforts must bring together a depth and breadth of expertise—from both inside and outside the firm—faster and more effectively than ever before. Please join us as Thomson Reuters proudly welcomes Babson College Professor Rob Cross for a keynote presentation on leveraging networks within professional services firms to foster new ideas and dynamic growth. Dr. Cross will provide a robust analysis of how collaboration and talent management can successfully overcome cultures of “lone, genius inventors” that have historically defined (and summarily plagued) professional services firms around the world.

    Dr. Rob Cross, Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Business, Babson College

    4:00 PM
    Thursday Night Reception

    Friday, Oct 27

    8:30 AM
    Networking Breakfast
    9:30 AM
    Of Man & Myth: A Decade of Artificial Intelligence in the Law

    Much has been said about so-called artificial intelligence’s impact on legal services. From visions of grandeur to that of mass lawyer layoffs, a fantasy of possibility has come to define perception. What is real—or truly realistic—when it comes to emergent legal technology? For some, AI’s not insignificant presence across industries augurs an important standard to which lawyers and lawyering must adhere in order to remain professionally viable. Others, however, insist that artificial intelligence has long been a part of the legal ecosystem, and therefore see no need for the rhetoric of change. How are some of the industry’s primary players reacting strategically to such hyperbole? What opportunities exist in both the near- and far-term as we focus on 2018?

    Bill Fowler, Vice President & General Counsel, Profit Recovery Partners

    Robert Farina, Chief Executive Officer, Kim Technologies
    T. Mark Flanagan, Jr., US Chief Operating Officer, Dentons
    Scott Pine, Chief Operating Officer, Fenwick & West LLP
    Michael Shea, Chief Information Officer, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
    Andrew Shimek, President & Chief Operating Officer, Neota Logic Inc.

    10:30 AM
    Morning Break
    10:45 AM
    Building the Pipeline: Training and Talent Challenges After the Great Recession

    Law firms today employ up to five different generations of professionals in the workplace. For years, the legal and business professional pipelines produced a steady supply of talent ripe for the proverbial picking. Since 2007, however, law schools are seeing a steady decline in student applications, and many recent graduates, along with business peers, are finding career paths outside the profession. This seismic shift has forced law firm leaders to reevaluate how they design and manage their most expensive resource–people–to meet the ever-changing demands of clients.  In considering the future of law firms, how are law firm leaders and chief talent officers adjusting how they hire and prepare the next generation? How are firms integrating new employees into existing enterprise culture? What impact have client requests for more diverse legal representation had on hiring strategy? And what lessons can be learned from other professional service industries? Our panel will consider these and other key questions as we look ahead to 2018 and beyond.

    Amanda K. Brady, Partner; Practice Group Leader, Law Firm Management, Major, Lindsey & Africa

    Jean A. Durling, Chief Talent Officer, Fox Rothschild LLP
    Susan E. Manch, Chief Talent Officer, Winston & Strawn LLP
    Dr. Larry Richard, Founder & Principal Consultant, LawyerBrain
    L. Tracee Whitley, US Chief of Operations, Norton Rose Fulbright

    12:00 PM
    Closing Remarks
    Rob Cross

    Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Business, Babson College

    View Faculty Page


    New York Marriott Downtown

    85 West Street at Albany Street
    New York, NY 10006

    Situated in Lower Manhattan near Battery Park, the New York Marriott Downtown is located near Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and One World Observatory. Enjoy nearby shopping at Brookfield Place, Century 21 or the new Westfield World Trade Center. Business and leisure travelers alike will love spreading out in the hotel’s spaciously modern accommodations, which strike the perfect balance between work and play.

    Subway passengers can take the 1, R, or W lines to Rector Street and walk toward West Street.

    Room Block Details

    We have reserved a block of guest rooms at a group rate of $369/night plus taxes ($379/night+ for double/double accommodations). For reservations, please visit our dedicated booking site. Alternatively, you may call the hotel directly at 212.385.4900 and ask for the Reservations Department. Please be sure to reference “Thomson Reuters 16th Annual COO/CFO Forum.” The cut-off date for guest room reservations is Sunday, September 24, 2017. For additional assistance, please contact our Conference Planner, Meghan Landis, at or 201.912.3042.

    The Law Firm COO & CFO Forum Welcome Dinner (Wednesday, October 25):

    Little Park (at the Smyth Hotel)
    85 West Broadway (at Chambers St.)
    New York, NY 10007

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