Partners Face Each Other
The Negotiating Challenge
One of Australia’s major law firms was the result of federating leading solicitors in each state. The national centre had been consolidated in a single major city. This proved less profitable than had been expected.
- The other states blamed this on the ineffectiveness of the chief meeting
- They also felt that the head office group had failed to lift their share in Australia’s major market
- There had been no national partners meeting for two years
- The partnership agreement required renegotiating.
How ENS Helped
An ENS consultant designed and facilitated national meetings between key partners and within state partnerships. These negotiations revealed the diverse issues, interests and needs that were pulling the partnership apart.
- Newer, younger partners had in fact significantly different attitudes to those that were being expressed on their behalf at the national executive
- The problem could not be resolved until a cross section of partners (not based on hierarchy) met and clarified their positions
- A retreat was held at which a new draft partnership agreement was hammered out with ENS facilitation
- This draft formed the basis of the first national partners’ meeting some months later at which it was endorsed.
The result of the series of negotiations planned by ENS over a number of months was
- A restoration of trust
- A viable marketing plan
- A great improvement in morale
- The chief executive retaining his position.