The Philosophy and Focus in Providing Services to Clients
For many law firms, the changing competitive environment and the implications on firm governance and practice management have unanticipated or difficult-to-manage consequences. With experienced and skilled consultants, this does not have to be the case. William C. Cobb, the principle of Cobb Consulting (WCCI, Inc.), has developed his expertise as a catalyst and agent of change while a consultant to progressive firms and in-house legal departments in all parts of the country. Since 1978 he has used his experience and skill to assist legal organizations in coping with the competitive market environment, the complexities of increases and decreases in size, geographic diversification, heightened client expectations, and more sophisticated client approaches to valuing the services provided by outside law firms. Mr. Cobb’s client relationships have been distinguished by his ability to build the credibility of the firm leadership and enable it to create and carry through its own strategies critical to the firm’s competitive positioning, unique culture, and core value system.
Mr. Cobb focuses his 38 years of experience on problems associated with:
Strategic planning to build a quality, service and client responsive organization.
International positioning of practices.
Firm Governance and practice management to build a supportive and responsive infrastructure.
Alternative billing and pricing legal services.
Lawyer performance evaluation and compensation.
Establishing benchmarks on firm performance.
Intra partnership Issues resolution.
What Differentiates Cobb Consulting from Other Consultants
One of the first questions asked of us is: “What differentiates you from the rest of the consultants?” Our clients tell me:
We get Mr. Cobb and not a substitute from less experienced professionals. He provides extensive, in-depth knowledge in dealing with complex policy and strategic issues based on 38 years as a consultant to law firms.
He has demonstrated the capability to help us clients deal with tough, complicated issues that require a holistic view of the firm. He does not substitute a report or trite answers for long-term consulting relationships and long-term accountability to his client’s success.
He is not highly leveraged and has no excuse for keeping consulting staff busy by pushing worthless consulting products.
He takes an evolutionary, not a mechanical approach in helping his clients adapt to the changing competitive environment. The number and diversity of possible strategies and tactics that could come from a consulting relationship are great. The selection of strategies and tactics always depends upon the unique culture and competitive position of the clients. Some consultants take a mechanical approach to the process in order to move the consulting process to an already composed set of answers that will require the use of more of their staff consultants’ time. Most of the content of those reports is a restatement of known facts and boiler plate recommendations. Cobb Consulting regards the relationship with clients as a series of assessments which lead to an understanding of the strategic implications and to decisions on constructive change. Each phase of effort generates choices. Clients and Mr. Cobb jointly discuss and select the strategies and tactics that will provide the highest return on time. Clients are not projects. They are individual and long-term relationships.
Mr. Cobb represents the unique need of clients. Information about whom the clients are, their issues, and their strategies are proprietary to the client.
Working as a Third-Party Guide
The purpose of Cobb Consulting (WCCI, Inc.) is to assist in defining and achieving firm goals by serving as an objective third party. There are no standard answers for complex problems. Experience and expertise alone is the critical element in wrestling with these concerns. Mr. Cobb plays a key role by acting as an experienced sounding board to firm leadership by:
Objectively assessing the operating policies with respect to goals and objective established by firm leadership;
Providing interpretation of information which indicates where current strategies are taking the firm and particular practices;
Identifying the most important problems, threats, and opportunities affecting the performance of the firm and the firm’s practice groups.
Helping the firm identify benchmarks of success and measures of performance against strategies;
Introducing innovative yet proven ideas and approaches;
Opening new avenues of discussion within the partnership’
Breaking down tradition barriers to effective decision making and constructive change; and
Avoiding the costs associated with false starts, blind alleys, and duplicate efforts.
How Cobb Consulting Bills for Services
Cobb Consulting bills for services based upon value added, performance, and when necessary, hourly rates with minimum daily charges. Bills for services are based upon engagement letters that identify the scope of work to be performed and a mutually agreed upon course of action. Expenses incurred on behalf of a client are passed through as they are incurred. Fees and expenses are billed on a monthly basis. We anticipate payment of invoices with fifteen days of receipt by the client.