My consulting services can be split between legal consulting (i.e. the provision of legal services regulated by the WA Legal Practice Board) and everything else.
I provide corporate and commercial legal services through the law firm Jackson McDonald (known to most people in WA as just 'JacMac').
JacMac is one of WA's oldest and largest independent law firms. This year it is celebrating its centennial anniversary. If this were a game of cricket, you'd be standing up and applauding.
The market for corporate lawyers in WA (and Australia, for that matter) is crowded. I strive to be a balanced adviser that can see beyond legal issues and apply a commercial touch. And as this website (hopefully) shows, I'm easy to engage with and don't take myself too seriously.
My practice at JacMac is divided into two categories.
Traditional Corporate Practice
JacMac's corporate practice largely consists of start-up, small-cap and mid-cap companies in a range of sectors in Western Australia.
I provide advice on getting the right commercial agreements in place and how to best comply with relevant corporate laws, such as the Australian Corporations Act and the ASX Listing Rules.
I also lead clients' corporate transactions, such as fundraising (at either the Seed, Series A/B/C, IPO, or Secondary levels) and M&A (whether by asset sale, share sale, or regulated takeover) deals.
Care Services Practice
More recently, I have been developing a practice helping clients navigate the commercial and regulatory challenges found pretty-much everywhere in the 'Care Services' Sector. This consists of those businesses operating in the health care, aged care, disability care, and child care sectors.
This practice is still building, but with the shocks and aftershocks of COVID-19 still shaking the health sector, with royal commissions into aged care and disability care, and a new Federal Government promising meaningful child care reform, there is a lot of change over the horizon that threatens to overwhelm businesses already struggling to keep up.
Outside of providing legal services, I consult to individuals and small legal teams on 'legal operations' issues.
Legal operations refers to the ancillary skills, processes, resources, habits, and cultures that together enable a lawyer to deliver their legal knowledge to solve a client's problem. That's not official - I just made that up - but to me, that's what I'm talking about when I talk about legal ops.
For some time I've done my best to avoid calling this 'coaching', but that's essentially what it is.
I work with lawyers, whether they be in-house or private-practice lawyers, to develop habits, resources, and systems to make them better advisers.
- developing standardised processes for common tasks asked of junor lawyers (e.g. legal research, contract review and drafting)
- implementing interpersonal skills and mental models to help lawyers achieve better outcomes in their negotiations with other lawyers (e.g. learning to control emotions in antagonistic negotiations)
- building the resilience to deal with difficult supervising lawyers and otherwise plan and navigate career paths (e.g. learning to 'manage up' technically-brilliant-but-emotionally-stunted senior lawyers)
- integrating technology and other 'lawtech' tools into a lawyer's practice (e.g. using an iPad to develop a second legal brain)
A more traditional form of consulting, I help small law firms and in-house legal teams to diagnose and solve the problems keeping them from best serving their clients.
- moving away from traditional law firm processes and towards more contemporary practices (e.g. towards the 'paperless office')
- identifying, communicating, and capturing the value generated by lawyers for their clients (e.g. measuring an in-house legal team's contribution to the business)
- training junior lawyers on minimum standards for work produced within the legal team (e.g. developing an induction program for 'how we lawyer around here')
- training senior lawyers on how to adopt the habits that will attract, develop, and retain the best junior staff (e.g. identifying the culture junior lawyers want and figuring out how to build it)
You can contact me here to speak about potential consulting engagements.