About Us

Fairfax is a specialist firm of highly experienced consultants focused on serving our clients in the niche of professional services, and in particular, law firms. Our focus is built on a deep understanding of the strategy, organization, and motivation of professionals.

Fairfax assists firms in achieving their partners’ aspirations, defining and executing strategy, and making real improvements in performance.

We understand the balance between the benefits of managerial control and the desire of individual partners and professionals for influence and autonomy. 

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Our Approach

We believe that effective professional services management requires building consensus, and that this consensus is best achieved when decisions are based on objective, thoughtful, and clearly communicated analysis. Partners must perceive that management decision-making is rigorous—to recognize that the same high standards apply to the management and direction of their firm as to their work for clients.

Our experience also tells us that professionals respond better when helped to identify what they could do rather than being told what they should do. We apply the depth of our experience to advise, to structure the process, and to provide expert opinion. We do not seek to impose a particular view of the world.

Our clients tell us that they wish to build a competitive advantage through developing innovative approaches to meeting their clients’ needs. We work with them to understand, and to anticipate, their clients’ changing needs, and to improve continuously their current practice.

We know that senior management is often under pressure from their partnership to get things done. We understand that it takes hard work to close the gap between declared ambition and achieved position and that it is our responsibility to support this process and to do our best to help management identify, and then execute, the practical steps necessary to develop their practice.

The strategic nature of our advice dictates absolute discretion. We consider everything that passes between us and our clients to be confidential.

If you are interested in working with us

News & Articles

Law Firm Merger and Lateral Activity Starts 2016 With a Bang

Fairfax Associates | First quarter law firm merger activity was up from last year, according to research by Fairfax Associates. In addition to these formal law firm combinations, the first quarter was also notable for combinations that saw two large groups of laterals join other firms but were not officially mergers.
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The Largest Law Firm Mergers of 2015

Big Law Business | As we head in to the last weeks of the year, it looks like merger activity among law firms for 2015 will be close to the level of the last two years. Through the 3rd quarter of 2015 we tracked 42 completed mergers in the U.S., compared to 49 through the 3rd quarter of 2014 and 48 through the 3rd quarter of 2013.
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Porters Five Forces – Threat of Substitutes

Big Law Business | I’ve been exploring the relevance of Porter’s Five Forces in recent blog posts. One of those forces – Threat of Substitutes – has the potential to be a disruptor for the legal industry. While professional rules have protected the legal industry from many competitive forces, that is starting to change.
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Buyer Power is Here to Stay

Big Law Business | In a recent post, I noted that a Harvard Business Review article published in 1979 has gained relevancy for the legal industry as a way to evaluate competitive forces and their impact on profitability.
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How to Merge: Lessons from 20 Years of Law Firm Mergers

By Lisa Smith, Published in “Law Firm Strategies for the 21st Century” Globe Law and Business, 2013 Press Releases Fairfax In the Press Speaking Engagements Seminars & WorkshopsFairfax AssociatesFairfax Associates brings together the skills of highly experienced...

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Law Firm Mergers: Taking a Strategic Approach

By Giles Rubens, PalGrave Macmilan, 2005 This book provides the reader with an explanation of the market forces driving increased competition in the legal profession that has raised the overall interest in mergers and often precipitated law firm mergers. At the same...

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Anatomy of a Law Firm Merger

By Lisa Smith and William Johnston, American Bar Association, 2004 I’ve been exploring the relevance of Porter’s Five Forces in recent blog posts. One of those forces – Threat of Substitutes – has the potential to be a disruptor for the legal industry. While...

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The 2019 Collection of Fairfax Insights

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