Effective leadership has proven to increase associate engagement and retention, improve quality of work and service to clients and, ultimately, improve group and firm profitability.

Given the choice, most of us would rather work for someone who shares their client handling knowledge, sets clear goals, provides constructive feedback to help us learn, and offers praise when we have earned it.  In short, most of us would rather work for someone who demonstrates leadership.


Most law firms present significant barriers to achieving effective leadership across the partnership:

  • Uncertainty of what effective leadership looks like in a law firm;
  • No compelling rationale provided to partners as to why they should focus on developing leadership skills, in addition to technical and client handling ones;
  • Reward systems that impede partners with the desire to spend more time coaching and developing associates; and,
  • A perception that there simply isn’t enough time for partners to provide leadership given the everyday pressures they face.


The Leading Lawyers program enables law firms to realize the value of creating effective leadership by addressing these barriers, and also by providing partners with the skills and motivation support they need to become effective leaders. The major elements of this fully customizable program are:

  1. Building support for leadership training: addressing the barriers outlined above to ensure partners can see the   benefits to associates, themselves and the firm.
  2. The business case for leadership development: presenting the relationship between effective leadership and business results, and also ‘what leadership looks like’ – i.e., the specific behaviours that drive improved associate retention, productivity and firm profitability.
  3. Leadership skills training for partners (and selected senior associates): addressing the most impactful leadership skills. Training comes in one-hour sessions with an in-person facilitator or via Internet, and can be provided to small groups or individual partners. Featuring law firm case studies, each training session is 100% customized to the needs of lawyers, and includes a comprehensive workbook with useful tools and techniques.
  4. Post-training coaching to support implementation: Recognizing partners’ challenges when trying to utilize the leadership skills learned through training (including a perceived lack of time), a range of post-training individual coaching options are available, from telephone-based support to a full program of in-person sessions with a dedicated coach. Please contact me for details.


Below are the leadership skills training options. The intention is to provide a flexible offering; as such, firms select those modules that best meet their partners’ needs.

Leading Lawyers – The Essentials: How to delegate strategically and provide constructive feedback when an associate’s performance is off-track, so that his/her professional development and productivity is accelerated. This module also looks at how to provide performance expectations that result in delegated work being completed on time and to the required level of quality.

Developing Business through Providing Excellent Client Service: This training module provides lawyers with an approach to client service that enables them to accelerate business development with existing clients and acquire new ones.

How to Motivate Associates: This module focuses on leadership techniques for partners to increase associates’ motivation levels and productivity, particularly when associates are asked to do routine but important tasks on behalf of clients. It also explores the roots of motivation and the top 10 leadership actions for partners to fully engage associates with their work.

Four Techniques to Increase Personal Productivity: This module explores how partners can more effectively manage time and resources to enable increased productivity, and find additional time to focus on other important priorities, such as leadership.

Leading Client Projects: This module examines how to set team and individual goals, and plan and manage projects, while also providing essential communication techniques for leading client projects. This course can be fully aligned to any project management software currently being used by the firm.






Robert Gilfoyle



TEL: 604.684.8041
CEL: 604.720.7934

Leadership, Strategy, Client Service