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25th Anniversary series: 2012 – A Long View of the Legal Profession

May 27, 2015

In 2012, Allen & Overy, a global legal firm often topping the FT “Most Innovative Law Firms” list, launched their “Long View” Project. This asked – how do you get a partnership to look outwards and embrace change?


Long View was positioned as:

  • “The objective is to develop scenarios about how our future, and that of our clients, might be different in 2020
  • The aim is not to forecast but to understand a range of scenarios that might happen and what the implications may be for A&O
  • This is an outward-looking exercise, with an emphasis on speaking to clients and gathering and transforming information of strategic significance from a wide range of sources into fresh insights
  • Not designed to produce strategic recommendations, rather to identify threats and opportunities for A&O”

After a process taking several months and involving many of the partners, they achieved a number of insights – for instance on

  • the definition of “premium” legal services,
  • the need to adapt to a multi-polar world,
  • the need to leveraging technology and processes;
  • ways of developing talent through rewarding collegiality and mutual support.

Overall, one of the major benefits that Allen & Overy saw from the exercise was to create opportunities for dialogues about change – with clients and internally, with Business Schools’ case studies and through seminars and conferences.

The project is described in more detail in the A&O 2013 Annual Review, Annual Review 2013.pdf

Written by SAMI Director, Gill Ringland.

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