Law Firms in Cameroon │ Managing & Fostering Leadership and Growth │An International Bar Association Perspective.

October 26, 2022

25TH August 2022, the International Bar Association presented a webinar via The Law Firm Management Committee & International Bar Association, African Regional Forum.

Our Managing Partner, Neneng Yannick, a member of the Cameroon Bar Association was thrilled to have participated in the webinar managing a law firm in Africa with the International Bar Association.

Here are his keynotes to leverage on managing a law firm in Cameroon and Africa.

The Webinar had as speakers were representatives of prominent law firms across the African Continent and beyond.

Keynotes to Leverage on managing a law firm in Cameroon and Africa atlarge by the various Speakers.

A. Managing Partners in a law firm.

The various speakers based on their diverse experiences highlighted the following attributes;

1. Partners’ Performances

This was the first highlighted attribute and speakers were on the opinion for partners’ performances to be effective in managing a law firm;

-Financial values, allocating profits and work generation, supervising work and quality in the firm should be much considered.

-The culture and structure of law firms in terms of vision and purpose need partnership to realize firms’ objectives.

-Promoting Clients, associates and partners’ interaction in a law firm.

-Recognition of soft skills such as training, financial values and the aspect of remuneration.

2. Measuring Performance within a law firm

-Everyone must take responsibility for results rather than just focusing on billing.

-Pro Bono work should be taken into consideration measuring performance within the law firm.

-Formal metrics for remuneration should be discussed as most firms lack this metric in existence.

-Firm’s promotion with respect to visibility and technology

-Office culture and values

3. Management in terms of different Jurisdictions and laws

Hanim Hamzah one of the speakers emphasized financial values and office culture as very vital attributes to be taken into consideration managing a law firm from in diverse jurisdictions not just in Africa but across the world.

4. Managing a Law firm with Partners having a lot of Expertized

The aspect of Rain Makers of the firm (Partners who bring in the bulk of clients)

Technical skills verse rainmakers and Client verse Office management

5. Balancing Rain Makers Verse Performance.

-Financial attributes should be taken into consideration

-What each partner brings to the table.

-Rainmakers should never be neglected and should have a specific percentage in terms of what they bring to the table.

-Part of the fee generated by rain makers should be invested in the firms’ team doing the performance

-Soft skill aspects of the Office in terms of Performance

- Meeting with clients

- Publications

- Participation in Clients calls

- Conferences attended

- Allocated targets to the firm’s team members

- Partners are accountable for the income brought into the firm.

Other aspects in consideration dealing with Partners’ performance

- Dealing with Non- performing partners in the law firm

- Investing in staff training for office management and leadership

B. Management and Leadership Leveraging on the Growth of Law Firms in Africa.

The question in contention by the speakers was how firms can plan for succession. These aspects of management and leadership had as emphasis;

1. A Succession Plan

- Development of management and leadership values with the office

- Associates and partners should have a degree in management and leadership skills.

- Key performances as to what books are been read by associates/partners

- What contributions do such associates/ partners bring to the firm?

- Training culture for partnership from the moment an associate/ partner gets into the firm.

2. Ethics and Morality in the Legal Profession and Office Culture.

- Associates/partners most exercise the rights conferred on them as per their responsibilities toward the profession and the law firm.

Finally, the speakers mentioned and emphasized the following aspects of managing a law firm in Africa;

- First, Firms must recognize management and leadership skills are important but relevant to society.

- Positioning and sustainability

- Principal of growth such as revenue realization and acknowledging contributions of rain makers.

Responsible, reliability, integrity and openness should be values upheld by law firms, lastly, law firms should not be afraid to ask and make mistakes, especially When the firm is extending its practice areas.

In need of a lawyer?
Get in touch