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Unparalleled legal management expertise in pricing, legal process improvement and legal project management highlights new group


New York and Montreal, June 8, 2016Fireman & Company, a leading management consulting firm for law firms and corporate legal departments, today joined forces with lean practice management and process improvement experts Gimbal Canada. The collaborative venture brings together pricing, legal process improvement, legal project management expertise and more to create the industry’s first ever Performance, Profitability & Innovation Group. Aligning with Gimbal, and recently adding legal industry expert Tom Baldwin, signify Fireman & Company’s most important strategic moves since its inception. Collectively, Fireman & Company and Gimbal have worked with Am Law 100 firms, Magic Circle firms, leading national and regional firms, in-house legal departments, and legal teams servicing government departments and agencies.

By joining forces to create the Performance, Profitability & Innovation Group, the team now provides law firms and corporate legal departments with proven expertise that is much more than the sum of the individual parts of pricing, process improvement, and project management. When these strategies are integrated, carefully planned, and executed as part of a comprehensive initiative, the result is profitable, measurable, and sustainable performance excellence.

“Until now, law firms have been forced to pick a solution before understanding the specific pricing, project management, and process improvement problems they are trying to solve,” stated Fireman & Company’s President, Joshua Fireman. “Firms have been asking:

  • Why bring in a pricing expert if it will drive down profitability?
  • Why project manage a flawed process?
  • Why improve without the ability to execute and deliver the improved process?

We concluded that the newly formed PPI Group could best partner with law firms and corporate legal departments to answer these questions.”

Specifically, the Group will:

  • Assess legal service delivery models in key areas including pricing, process efficiency, project management, knowledge management, technology, financial analysis, and staffing. This includes analyzing clients, practices, or portfolios facing delivery and profitability challenges.

  • Build an implementation plan for short- and long-term improvements, to end analysis paralysis with concrete recommendations focused on improved performance and profitability.

  • Partner with clients and select, prioritize, manage, and execute recommended projects. Implementation plans follow a progression that increases buy-in, builds on successes, monitors key performance metrics, and integrates the critical elements of performance excellence.

Karen Dunn Skinner, Gimbal co-founder, commented: “Through Gimbal, we’ve been empowering legal professionals to deliver better quality advice and services in less time and less cost with our LeanLegal™ workshops and facilitated process improvement projects. The integrated PPI service we’re now offering with Fireman & Company gives us an even stronger way to support our clients.”

David Skinner, Gimbal’s other co-founder, added: “Together, we have the ability to mix and match elements to better meet the needs of law firms and in-house legal departments in a way that single offering consulting firms simply cannot.”

Partners in the PPI Group include:

Tom Baldwin. Tom’s career in the legal industry spans more than 20 years, and includes several c-suite positions at leading Am Law 100 firms. He is a globally recognized thought leader and expert in practice management and economics, information management, legal technology, and knowledge management.

Karen Dunn Skinner. Karen combines 20 years’ experience practicing law in Canada and Europe with a black belt in Lean Six Sigma. She co-founded Gimbal in 2012 and has spent the last 4 years leading process improvement initiatives in firms and internal legal departments across North America, and writing about the application of Lean in law.

Ron Friedmann. Ron is a lawyer by training, with over 20 years’ experience improving law practice and legal business operations with technology, knowledge management, and alternative resourcing. He is a pioneer of legal process improvement, knowledge management, e-discovery, virtual law libraries, law firm portals, and online legal services.

David Skinner. David brings together almost 25 years’ experience practicing law in BigLaw and inhouse in Canada, Europe, and the UK, and formal training as a Lean Six Sigma Sensei. A member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, David co-founded Gimbal with Karen. Like her, David is a thought leader on change and innovation in law, and has spent the last four years leading process improvement initiatives across North America.

“Now we can help firms in an area where they’ve been underserved and disappointed. We’ve watched firms struggle with pricing, process improvement, and legal project management over the years. We have been privileged to work with tremendous, industry-leading clients in these areas, and are looking forward to sharing methodologies and best practices with the industry at large. Frankly, there’s not a team like this anywhere else out there,” concluded Fireman.

For more information about the PPI Group, please visit Fireman & Company or Gimbal.

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About Fireman & Company

Fireman & Company is a legal industry-focused management consulting firm. It partners with the world’s most innovative law firms and corporations. Fireman & Company’s mission is to help its clients make substantial, distinctive, and lasting improvements in performance. Change management, strategic IT, and process improvement bring concrete, measurable results. Fireman & Company delivers KM strategies, improves legal service delivery, evaluates software solutions, and implements critical software such as enterprise search, Intranets, experience management, DM, and email management systems. For more information about Fireman & Company, visit www.firemanco.com.

About Gimbal

Gimbal is a Lean practice management advisory firm and leader in adapting Lean and Six Sigma to the legal services industry. Its focus is helping professionals in law firms, in-house, and in the legal departments of government agencies increase efficiency, productivity, competitiveness, and profitability. With a proven track record using its LeanLegal™ approach to develop tailored, sustainable solutions and facilitating improvement projects, Gimbal helps clients transform their service delivery model by optimizing legal services and the business and administrative services that support them. For more information about Gimbal, visit www.gimbalcanada.com.


Read Ron’s take on:

  1. The dangerous artificial divide between lawyers and other professionals at law firms (the “caste system”);
  2. How law firms can attract business in a “flat” market for legal services; and
  3. How Biglaw can get in the alt.legal game, or at least join the party through partnerships

The Biglaw ‘Caste System’ – An Impediment To Innovation? | Above the Law http://j.mp/1TLXSdb