Practice Management

Robin Rolfe Resources provides custom strategic planning, organization and business development consulting to the legal community, including law firms, corporate law departments, and law-product vendors. We work in law firms in the USA and all over the world.  We also provide outsourced association management and administrative services to bar and law-related associations, law firm alliances and networks.  Please visit the associations management website for more info here.

RRR offers an authentic depth of knowledge and draws on years of relevant experience from our diverse and complementary backgrounds to understand the needs of each client. Our team brings broad understanding, unique skills and leading-edge ideas to every engagement.

Efficient In-house Service Structure

Problem: A Forbes Global 100 company, which grew exponentially through acquisitions, was organized as a holding company and five essentially independent business units. As part of its plan to transition into an operating company model with active corporate management over the businesses, it sought to consolidate some legal functions using a shared services model. We were retained by the general counsel and the global intellectual property counsel to assess the trademark function within and among the business units, benchmark the trademark management against several comparable companies and assist in maximizing effectiveness, efficiency, and cost and risk management.

Solution: The assignment was divided into two discrete projects so as not to influence the findings of either study. In one, we conducted an audit of the current trademark function by identifying approximately 80 employees involved in trademark work and interviewing the 32 individuals within the five segments, with responsibilities ranging from strategic management to data entry. We also examined operating procedures, management oversight, staffing and procedures among the segments.

In the second project, we conducted a benchmarking study through personal interviews of senior IP and trademark counsel at three comparable corporations in order to collect the same data as we collected from our client. In addition, data supporting “best practices” was compiled.

Upon completion of both reports, we prepared a comparison of our client’s trademark practices against the benchmarks and best practices in each area of examination. Based on the findings, six alternative operating structures were assessed for relative merits.

Result: The alternative structures were presented to the entire intellectual property leadership team and subsequently to the general counsel, who recommended an IP organization and management structure to the CEOs of the business units. Before the structure was implemented, a corporate decision was made to dissolve the conglomerate and break up the businesses into separate companies.

Client Satisfaction and Feedback

Problem: A well-established law firm had long held a leading position in its practice areas, but, over the years, competition had increased and it was not as dominant as it had been. The firm acknowledged that some business had slipped away and that it was not receiving the new business it once had been. The partners wanted to reverse the trend.

Solution: As part of the preparation for a business development and marketing plan, RRR recommended that the firm conduct a client satisfaction survey to determine if there were any problems with its services or client services and whether clients had any needs that the firm was not serving.

RRR conducted a telephone survey of 25 representative clients. Half-hour interviews were conducted, thus respecting clients’ schedules yet allowing them time to share their thoughts, and allowing RRR to follow up on answers and capture insights not available in initial responses. The findings were compiled and incorporated in a strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats (SWOT) analysis that became the basis for an action plan.

Result: The client satisfaction survey yielded data that provided a basis for both a client-relationship management program and a marketing plan. While the client interviews were conducted with an option for anonymity, the participation by identified clients was followed by personal calls to discuss any matters of concern and planned improvements and to thank them for participating. The effect of the calls was to further demonstrate the firm’s interest in addressing issues and to solidify personal relationships.

Benchmark and Best Practice

Problem: A Fortune 100 company wanted to compare its trademark management practices and procedures with those of other well-respected corporations. The company wanted to know whether there were any areas of operations, decision making, cost and risk management that could be handled more effectively.

Solution: RRR conducted a benchmarking survey and analysis that explored the full range of corporate trademark operations and responsibilities in considerable detail. We interviewed seven key members of the client’s trademark law group, including the department co-heads, to understand how the group was organized, managed and operated at all levels. We identified five comparable companies to benchmark their practices, interviewed the senior trademark counsel at each to determine their operations and prepared a report that assessed the various elements of each company’s trademark practice against our client’s.  In addition, we compiled existing research on best practices for in-house trademark operations.

Result: Our report allowed our client to review its processes, confirm many of its practices and adjust several others to improve efficiency.

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