An interesting article about how DLA Piper is refining and sharpening its sector strategy. Many firms have tried sectors but few have been really successful. Some things for firms to consider:

  • How will the sector groups interact with practice groups?
  • What budget responsibility will sector heads have?
  • Will sector heads be accountable for delivering revenue targets?
  • As most partners sit in practice groups for budget purposes, will they be in any way accountable to sector heads for client performance?
  • Who will influence investment decisions - for example, recruitment, bidding for work, office openings etc? Will they be led by the sectors or practices
  • What will the firm tell clients in 'non-core sectors? Are those clients less important?
  • How will the management of the firm change? Will sector leaders be involved in the management board?

Unless firms can answer some of these difficult questions, make brave decisions and give the role of sectors and sector heads real accountability and responsibility, nothing will actually change and sector networks will remain a myth rather than a reality.