Smart Collaboration

Firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when lawyers collaborate across borders and across practice and sector boundaries. Complex problems require lawyers to integrate their unique knowledge and perspectives in order to generate more holistic, optimal solutions than any of them could produce on their own. This is what we call Smart Collaboration. Research shows that individuals who engage in Smart Collaboration enhance their reputation, attain greater professional success and enjoy more personal wellbeing.

Creating high-performing cross-border teams

Clients require firms to assemble teams of lawyers from different groups and geographies to work together in cross-practice teams in order to deliver high quality outcomes on complex issues.

However conflicts can arise with people with different values, norms jargon and expertise. Time zone differences and electronic communication presents logistical hurdles. People may not have time to build trust and mutual understanding and evolving, fluid situations require constant communication and coordination.

Our Smart Collaboration programme helps to overcome these challenges and create high performing teams with shared goals and objectives to bring excellence to clients.

We use the Smart Collaboration Accelerator, a psychometric that helps facilitate better collaboration. The instrument was designed by Portia Hickey and Dr Heidi Gardner, fellow at Harvard Law School and author of several books on Smart Collaboration.

Research has identified seven behavioural dimensions associated with Smart Collaboration—each can serve as a catalyst toward effective action when understood and used with intentionality.

Our programme includes:

  • A self-assessment followed by an individual report which shows your likely behavioural tendencies on each dimension
  • We explain how you can leverage each of these tendencies to make collaboration more effective. Then you can also consider ways to ‘flex’ your behaviours dependent on the context, such as the business need, team dynamics, and your role
  • A detailed look at the barriers to collaboration and practical ways to overcome them

Collaboration isn’t easy, and doing it virtually poses even more challenges. But each person has the potential to enhance collaboration by drawing on their unique combination of strengths.

Smart Collaboration hinges on team diversity. When you are aware of your natural tendencies and make smart choices about how to behave in a team setting, you have the power to help the group to leverage members’ potential and make collaboration work better.

Smart Collaboration benefits to the business:

  • Creates a positive working environment – encourages team spirit and a collective focus; improvement of collegiality; fosters a positive culture and new ideas; exposure to more clients and different work
  • Deepens client relationships – ultimately benefits the client; builds trust; clients see better level of service; unlocks greater opportunities
  • Improves revenue and profitability – grows the business; it leads to more fees; unlocks greater opportunities
  • Develops the firm & its brand – stronger together; benefits the firm as a whole; we look joined up and integrated
  • Drives efficiencies – speedier results for the client; more efficient way of working; more reasoned responses with less effort; creates helpful checks and balances

Smart Collaboration benefits to the individual:

  • Helps lateral partners transition quickly
  • Helps attract, develop and retain younger generations
  • Builds engagement
  • Gives a sense of commitment/ belonging
  • Fosters employee productivity and loyalty
"Collaboration benefits not only the firm, but also the individual lawyers who work jointly with other partners to serve and develop clients." Dr Heidi Gardner, fellow at Harvard Law School

Our other areas


We help professionals lead in a way that encourages and inspires a strong sense of followership within the firm.


We help firms with their entire partner talent lifecycle.


We help firms with their pricing, fee negotiation and pitching strategy be more profitable.


Our team of highly experienced coaches help professionals reach their full potential and also oversee in-house coaching programmes.