Cases Uncategorized

Holm & Schmidt

The partners at Holm & Schmidt had come to the realisation that the future couldn’t be built on the firm’s founding business principles and they decided to pursue a merger with a larger company. Qeep was brought in to help the firm become attractive and merger ready, which lead to a 25% organic growth in fees, 12% growth in earnings and a successfully merger with Nordia.

Unrealistic goal: To create organic growth and become an attractive and equal merger partner

Outcome: Leading party in the 2009 merger with the law firm Nordia Advokater

Solution: Performance Management Program

Qeep helped us change our behavior from just waiting for the next case to proactively building client relations, which landed us new clients and full-service agreements with several of our existing clients. Qeep challenged our view of what it takes to run a law firm and the attitudes that traditionally characterize our sector. All lawyers can learn something here
— Michael Vesthardt, Senior Partner, Holm & Schmidt, Nordia – now MAQS

The Challenge

The partners at Holm & Schmidt had come to the realisation that the future couldn’t be built on the firm’s founding business principles. The group of partners had been joined by two young, ambitious attorneys without their own clients. The future was clear – they would eventually have to specialise as a niche law firm or consolidate via a merger.

The Process

Based on a Possibilities Meeting of the partners, it was decided that a merger was the way forward. But in order to succeed, Holm & Schmidt needed to bolster its position and ability to achieve organic growth. Otherwise, they would not be an interesting merger partner. 

The process involved most of the firm’s 30 employees, who ultimately made a commitment to set goals for new sales, additional sales and efficiency. During the process it became clear – with help from Qeep – that a number of results groups and units could be formed, each headed by one of the partners.

All partners received intensive coaching in results management.

Old Habits

Holm & Schmidt were very reactive in their sales efforts.

The partners did not actively contact clients, because they believed that clients did not perceive any value in their calls. The attitude was: “They know that I’m here and they’ll call if they need me.”

They also only focused on selling their own individual specialisations – not those of the other partners. The attorneys were all concerned that a colleague could ruin their business if given access to a good and loyal client.

The sales efforts primarily took the form of attending conferences and dinners the partners were invited to.

New Behaviour

The partners divided themselves among groups of employees and embarked on a process of professional management via concrete results plans and regular follow-ups.

The two young partners began working professionally with their own networks – and actively seeking out prospective clients.

The most important change, however, was in the partners’ behaviour towards existing clients. They began to contact existing clients in an effort to expand Holm & Schmidt’s share of wallet. These efforts were surprisingly well-received and the firm achieved growth in business. Clients proved interested in proactive dialogue and continuous sparring. And they were willing to pay for it.

The Results

  • 25% organic growth in fees
  • 12% growth in earnings
  • Successful merger with a larger firm, Nordia, with Holm & Schmidt’s partners leading the negotiations  

The Hero

Attorney Niels Jensen took it upon himself to develop and launch an environmental evaluation solution for Danish local governments. The solution was launched with huge success and increased revenue by 29%, making him a genuine Results Hero. 

The Unrealistic Goal

Holm & Schmidt set the goal of playing a leading role in a merger with a bigger law firm.

The Organisation

The law firm of Holm & Schmidt was established in 1994 with five partners and a total of 30 employees. The firm is strong within charities/NGOs, life science and corporate law in general.