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"I totally support the idea that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is not all doom and gloom, there are enough examples of firms changing to give everyone hope, there is opportunity for firms in all sectors"

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking with Dr George Beaton.

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Dr George Beaton is the chairman and founder of Beaton an Australian research house, think tank and business consultancy serving the professional services industry, mainly law firms, accountants and management consultants.

George is the pre-eminent voice in Australia on change in the professions and one of a only a handful of world recognised experts on the subject. He has written two books, was a full professor of law aged 32, has a medical phd in experimental endocrinology, and is a well known international keynote speaker and trusted adviser to more than 100 clients around the globe.  

His name is synonymous with evidence based research into professional services and he has often been a voice of change predicting a re-modelling of the legal industry within 5-10 years which will leave many global names fading into extinction and other New Law providers such as axiom. Elevate and LOD taking their place. 

If you want to know where the industry is going, who are the players, what law schools will need to do and how there is an enormous opportunity for everyone provided they take steps now then this is an episode full of wisdom and insight from his 30 years of research and data.

  • His background in medicine in South Africa, as a law professor and migrating to Australia.


  • His research is hard evidence based and employing the top 2-3% of students.


  • On what young lawyers and law students want to do, read the Hunger Games blog on Remaking Law Firms by Scott Colvin


  • While some lawyers are brilliantly happy others hit burn out at a faster rate than GP's. 


  • On modernising law schools (10.15)


  • It can take 5-10 years for lawyers to plan their exit to a new career - how they have not acquired a broad worldliness and their choices in their minds are limited


  • Partners and economic prisoner syndrome (13:15)


  • Emulating the law tech scene in Toronto (13.55)


  • Why management consultants looks to law schools and medical schools for their fresh talent (15.00)


  • How Mark Zuckerburg and others have changed the principles of business and created a new revolution of business thinking, how even the likes of Harvard business school will be disrupted (17.05)

  • The two main challenges (20.00) the culture of partnership and the lack of a true balance sheet in the partnership.

  • The story behind his books and taking BigLaw from Larry Ribstein (22.55 and 31.45)

  • The 5 factors influencing disruption (31.30)

  • How to go about change for law firms (29.15 and 36.05)

  • There is $1bn of private equity money ready to be invested into professional services, much of it in law for disruption. $400m into law tech in the UK and $50m for Australia. (36.45)​

  • NewLaw company Elevate is an unstoppable road train (38.30)

  • Interviewing ex Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley on innovation, Belfast and how to do it (41.45)

  • Innovation at firms like BLP and Pinsent Masons, why others are stuck (43.45)

  • Ai, law tech and technology, legal hackathons (47.05)

  • The next 5-10 years and how the elite will grow and the middle will be disappear (49.45)


  • NewLaw in Australia and how variable work is taking off in law and also management consultancy (52.45) 


  • The Australias start up scene and carving careers for variable work (56.45)


Suggested reading

New law New Rules - 2013 (author)

Remaking Law Firms - 2016 (author)

The Change Monster - Jeanie Daniel Duck

To contact George please click on the links below.

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