The Slater & Gordon case outlines the transformation of the Australian firm from a conventionally structured partnership through changes in management, strategy and capital structure to the world’s first publicly held law firm. The case recounts the firm’s history, philosophy for growth, and the circumstances leading up to their need for more capital. It explores different options open to the firm and the ramifications of each option on the firm. The cases raise questions about how the transformation in ownership structure will affect Slater’s culture and values and how the firm will balance potentially conflicting claims by clients, lawyers and shareholders.
The case allows participants to reflect on how law firms’ choice of capital structure interacts with their service market strategy, growth strategy, reward system, and culture. It leads to discussions on the pros and cons of a public ownership versus partnership structure for PSFs. It also encourages participants to speculate how the world of legal services might change if outside ownership is allowed.
Professional Services, Change Management, Leadership, Strategy Formulation
Industry: Law Firm
Event Year Begin: 1935
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