With a rising tide there is a real focus in professional services firms on chasing and managing growth. Growth is good of course, but we also know not all growth is profitable.

At the same time consolidation in the legal market is predicted to continue - no one firm holds more than 1% global market share. Scale leadership is very much up for grabs.

And yet this Business Times article quotes an interesting finding of recent Bain & Co. research. The best performing companies in the study share four critical attributes: Valuable assets, superior capabilities, the most attractive customers and the benefits of scope. They achieve superior economic returns by linking these elements together to develop an ambitious strategy that explicitly targets higher performance rather than scale.