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Global Managing Partner Forum – 1st October 2020

Last week, the MI Managing Partner Forum was truly global - with two Zoomscreensful* of MPs from Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Canada and the Americas, North and South - to share experiences and insight.

We tackled the challenge of sticking together whilst being apart – the difficulty of maintaining an inclusive, supportive and collegiate ‘office’ culture whilst working remotely or only coming into the office erratically.

And we discussed how both individuals and firms have adapted quickly to using technology to communicate internally, reach clients and market themselves.

Interestingly, we are seeing a shift in the traditional ‘rainmaker’ model too; with networking events being virtual, many associates or ‘quieter’ partners are finding it easier to make and build connections from behind a screen rather than working a room.

The importance of service excellence and word of mouth as the most important driver of client behaviour was stressed – as well as that of engaging with existing clients and cross-selling in an individual and targeted way.

There is still a question mark over firms’ ‘real estate footprint’ – with more flexible working patterns (and in some areas, particularly the larger cities, with a reluctance to brave public transport to commute), resulting in potentially less need for office space if the trend is prolonged.

Many firms have also focused on going the extra mile both to retain key staff and recruit new talent – even in these challenging times – and what new models need to be taken to attract young lawyers; it does seem that the private office is no longer a draw the way it used to be – but a beer fridge might be!

Finally – with many lawyers continuing to work flat out, whilst dealing with the stresses of the pandemic, both personal and professional – there was a call to highlight wellness and wellbeing at the next forum.

For your schedules, our next Global MP Forum will be on 3rd December 2020, at 2.30pm UK GMT.

Here’s Barbara Barron from Mehaffy Webber in Texas with the view from the US’s 2nd largest State; it’s worth the watch:

*New: 2020 form of measurement....

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Our Wing-Walking Woman Warrior

At Mackrell International, we often say our lawyers are on top of the world.

But occasionally, they go beyond the extraordinary and even walk on air … Last month, Natalie Payne from Mackrell.Solicitors in London did just that.

She completed (survived?) a ‘wing walk’ to raise money for a fabulous charity, very close to her heart, Aoife’s Bubbles.

As Natalie recounts: “For 10 minutes I was strapped to the front of a bi-plane and whistled through the air at 120mph - we did swoops, turns and side dips (that was the most unnerving and made the stomach turn!). I loved it!

It was the best sensation to hold your arms out and feel the wind beating you back. (Although, the g-force makes your skin move in an unflattering manner!) The best part was the bird’s eye view – we have such lovely countryside in the UK. It takes your breath away and actually your mind off the fact that you are strapped to a plane!”

Like all of our Mackrell International legal family, Natalie always goes the extra mile (high?) for clients.

However, on this occasion, the wing walk was for “Aoife's Bubbles”, a charity set up in memory of her, “little warrior princess of a niece, Aoife”, who was diagnosed with germ cell cancer in 2019 and within a week of diagnosis had passed away. Natalie would appreciate any and all support for Aoife’s Bubbles.

Natalie Payne


MI Next Generation Lawyers scale new heights

Sometimes you get an event that just crackles. It pops.

And even in our virtual world, it almost cascades out of your screen and out of the myriad of clustered Zoom screens in front of you.

That’s what happened when, stretching time zones to their limit, 80 of our Next Generation lawyers came together from across the world last week - espresso-charged on the West Coast of the Americas, to staying up late in Japan and across Asia Pacific.

Despite our numbers and the time-differences, we got to know each other – climbers, kayakers, cooks, cookie-lovers, costume-makers, collectors, kite-surfers, crime-victims, craftsmen and women… amongst many others.

These are the human connections that unite us, that will create the legal and the business links to one another in time.

We were helped by the incomparable Rich Bracken – international speaker, TV-personality, ex DJ and living embodiment of “There’s always a way” – who focused on the importance of emotional intelligence and carving out time to make you a better lawyer, businessperson and human being generally.

As one delegate put it, Rich spoke “Not in a ‘fluffy’ or ‘hokey-dokey’ way, but in one that resonated and really made you think.”

One of our recent keynote speakers gave the following advice when you’re starting out, “Build your network.”

Well, our experienced lawyers and Mackrell International Main Contacts know the value of that.

And for our Next Generation, this is where it starts…

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

What the WeChat Ban Could Mean for US-China Business Operations

On September 18th, 2020 the US Department of Commerce issued a response to US President Trump’s Executive order to ban WeChat.

WeChat is a messaging and social media app with more than 1.5 billion active users around the world. American and Chinese companies have relied on WeChat to keep in touch with clients and business partners, as well as family and friends.

Baker Donelson received many queries from their concerned China and US-based clients. In response, the Global Business China team published an article that answers the top five most commonly asked questions.

Legal challenges have made this a rapidly developing situation so to keep abreast of the latest news for your clients, you may wish to subscribe to receive Baker Donelson Alerts.

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

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