Law Firm Focus

Delivering a seamless global service

Law Firms CultureGlobal Business Culture and its founder Keith Warburton help law firms deliver on their promise of a seamless service across multiple jurisdictions through helping develop increased levels of global fluency and awareness.  We have worked with many of the world’s great law firms as well as large in-house counsel teams – which gives us a unique insight into the law firm sector.

We work in both a training and coaching capacity and help partners, associates and trainees become more globally effective.  We also have significant experience in helping support staff functions collaborate efficiently across global networks.  Having over fifteen years close association with law firms, we can demonstrate a deep understanding of law firm dynamics and are able to draw on best practice from across the sector.


Although we run a wide variety of training programmes for our law firm clients and each programme is developed in partnership with the client, typical programmes include the following 8 topics:
  • Global cultural fluency and awareness

    Gone are the days when lawyers worked mainly on matters related solely to their own jurisdictions. As the major law firms of the world have expanded their global footprints, so lawyers have increasingly been called upon to work on complex cross-border issues for their global clients. This growth of globally-oriented legal work means that the modern lawyer needs to be able to operate effortlessly in an increasingly complex international legal environment.

    Global cultural fluency has become a ‘need to have’ and not a ‘nice to have’ for
    a 21st century, competent legal advisor.

    Global Business Culture helps many of the world’s great law firms develop cultural competency for partners, associates, trainees and support staff and is generally recognised as the pre-eminent cultural awareness training provider to the legal sector globally.

    Our in-depth knowledge of the legal sector allows us to develop cultural awareness training programmes which are lawyer-relevant and of immediate practical value. These programmes are written in collaboration with law firm clients so that specific firm requirements can be reflected in the delivery, content and style.

    Global business culture has been helping to clients in the legal world were more effectively across the barriers of geography, culture and language for more than 15 years.

  • Country specific cultural briefings

    As well as running general cultural awareness training programmes which look at some of the key generic areas where cultural differences can impact on day-to-day activities for a lawyer, Global Business Culture also runs country specific courses which allow a much deeper-dive into the cultural business norms in the target country.

    These country-specific cultural awareness training programmes allow lawyers to understand the expectations and likely reactions of colleagues, clients and other stakeholders in a particular country or region. This level of knowledge on any country can often prove vital when trying to persuade and influence people from any given culture.

    Although we offer a wide variety of country-specific training programmes, in our experience the following countries have proven to be of greatest interest within our extensive network of major law firm clients:

    • USA
    • UK
    • China
    • Japan
    • Germany
    • India
    • The Gulf
    • France
    • South Korea
    • Russia
    • Scandinavia

    Many of our law firm clients organise initial general cultural awareness training programmes which are then followed by a series of country specific sessions. Our experience shows us that the development of high levels of cultural fluency are best developed by taking a two-tiered approach which moves from the generic to the specific.

  • International pitch programmes

    Lawyers have two key functions within any law firm. The first is to deliver an exceptional level of legal advice and service, the second is to win good quality business. The law firm market is becoming increasingly competitive with more law firms fighting for good quality, profitable work. These competitive pressures will only increase with time and this makes the process of winning new business an absolute imperative.

    Legal sector statistics show that clients are demanding law firms pitch and re-pitch on a regular basis. Therefore, a firm’s ability to pitch for and win work has become the lifeblood of most international law firms.

    Global Business Culture runs international pitch training programmes for many of its law firm clients. These fully interactive training programmes are designed to simulate a real-life pitch situation in a competitive environment. Partners and senior associates who have been through these programmes report that the opportunity to engage, learn and collaborate with facilitors and colleagues has been a truly eye-opening experience.

    By introducing an international element to the pitch scenario, we are able to weave-in many of the complex cultural issues which can be encountered when cross-jurisdictional pitch teams are required to present to a client or potential client.

  • Cross-border cross-selling

    Many international law firms struggle to achieve the level of cross-border, cross selling which they aspire to. It is an historic fact that cross-practice selling can prove challenging, so it should hardly be surprising to discover that developing effective strategies for client-sharing across the barriers of culture, language and geography might prove even more elusive.

    Partners often cite weaknesses in the firm’s remuneration policies as being the root cause of weak inter-office collaboration and, although this can indeed be a major barrier, it is certainly not the only reason for any shortfall.

    In our cross-border, cross selling training programmes we look at some of the non-remuneration-oriented reasons why partners fail to achieve target levels of cross practice, cross-border sales. These programmes look at some of the key areas partners need to address such as:

    • The impact of cultural differences on developing trust
    • Understanding international client’s expectations
    • Examining my own role in the process
    • Putting the firm first
    • The importance of developing a functioning global network
    • Working in an international virtual environment
    • Being a giver and not just a taker
    • Spreading good news stories

    These programs are suitable for partners and senior associates who are currently on partner track.

  • Managing cross-border transactions

    In a legal environment in which more and more large, multi-jurisdictional transactions are being undertaken with the commercial background of a fixed or capped fee arrangement, it is critical to business success that all transactions are managed as effectively as possible.

    In reality, a complex cross-border transaction is a mini virtual project – often lead by a partner in one jurisdiction who works with lawyers from other cultures, who speak different languages and who have an inherently different approach to many day-to-day activities. Any matter partner working on a cross-jurisdictional transaction needs to be able to lead a cross-cultural team (in a virtual environment) across the barriers of culture, language and time zones. All the research shows that leading virtual teams of this nature requires specific skill sets and knowledge.

    Global Business Culture works with partners and senior associates to help them develop the skills they need to be able to ‘bring-in’ transactions on time and on budget in order to ensure client satisfaction and matter profitability. This is not a project management programme – we recognise that partners are not project managers. They are however leaders – and leaders in a global organisation need to understand the dynamics of leadership when working cross-border.

  • Partnership/practice retreat keynotes

    Law firms need partners and associates to ‘buy into’ the fact that cultural fluency and global competency are two of the key skill sets that the modern lawyer need to develop. We have found that a good starting point for any firm which wants to embark on a journey of developing levels of cultural fluency within its lawyer base is at a partnership retreat or practice area training weekend.

    Keith Warburton, CEO and founder of global business culture, is one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of cultural differences on cross-border commercial activities. Having spent his entire career working in an international environment he understands the challenges faced by any organisation in today’s globalised world. In addition, he has spent the last 15 years working closely with many of the world’s leading law firms, advising them on international expansion and lawyer development.

    Keith brings a real passion to this topic and is able to make it law firm specific and therefore ‘real’ for the lawyers. He is a truly engaging presenter who will not only challenge current ways of thinking but who will do this with a good amount of humour sprinkled in amongst the more serious elements of the topic.

  • Partner and senior associate coaching

    Keith Warburton, CEO and founder of global business culture, has spent the last 15 years of his career advising many of the world’s leading law firms on their journey to being truly global. During this time he has worked closely with hundreds of partners and senior associates and as a result has a really good understanding of the challenges they face. In addition, he also works with in-house counsel teams which gives him an almost unique understanding of the law firm/client dynamic.

    Many law firm clients have recognized that certain partners and associates might benefit from a mentoring relationship with Keith. These interventions are mainly designed to help those partners and associates overcome certain obstacles to the further development of their careers.

    When working with partners, the challenge is usually around developing an effective, delivering business development strategy. Keith works with partners to identify weaknesses in their current approach to business development, identify realistic client targets, develop network strategies and then structure all of this in the medium term.

    Keith also works with senior associates who are on the path to partnership track. In his capacity as an associate’s mentor, he focuses on helping associates develop a credible business case to support their partnership aspirations.

  • Support staff development

    Law firm support staff need support. In our experience we often find that it is the support staff of a firm who are charged with the rollout of any global process or policy. This will quickly bring them into direct contact with lawyers and other colleagues around the international network. They are, therefore, often working in a truly global environment.

    Global Business Culture runs cultural awareness training programmes for support staff on a functional and cross-functional basis. The aim of these programmes is to help employees work more effectively across the barriers of culture, language and geography and make them more adept at cross-border communication.


Our current and past law firm clients include:
  • Allen & Overy
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Bird & Bird
  • Clifford Chance
  • Clyde & Co
  • Dechert
  • Dentons
  • DLA Piper
  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • Forsters
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Jones Day
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman
  • Linklaters
  • Norton Rose
  • Osborne Clarke
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Reynolds Porter Chamberlain
  • Simmons & Simmons
  • White & Case

If you are looking to help your firm grow through more effective cross-jurisdictional collaboration in a way that will have an immediate, practical impact on your business performance please contact us for an initial discussion.