Two observations from the GC of BT Technology, Chris Fowler, stand out in our innovation feature, ‘Arrested development’. One: ‘If the work is repeatable and needs delivering to certain set outcomes at a certain price point, you become agnostic as to who is actually doing the work’ – suggesting the sacred cult of the individual may be diminishing in the eyes of clients. Two: ‘It always appears to us that the partner wins the work, the partner prices the work, and the partner delivers the work. I struggle with that in today’s world.’
While partnership and megalomania can go hand-in-hand, we have come a long way from the days when power-play behaviour from individual partners could actually hurt firms. Control has been ceded in many areas, recognising that allowing business professionals to play their part and junior lawyers to develop on the job enhances the offering that clients receive.