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Independent Director

An Independent Director on a selective basis.

I offer non-executive Independent Director services to law firm and legal service company Advisory Boards and Executive/Management Committees.

As a non-executive Independent Director, I contribute industry-wide insight on business facets pertaining to business strategy, market strategy, management strategy, and client strategy.

I am uniquely qualified to advise on issues pertaining to organizational structure and governance. This is due to my extensive legal service background that encompasses a wide span of practical expertise gleaned from working alongside and and helping guide traditionally-structured law firms, non-traditionally structured law practices, legal service companies offering productized services, and Big Four law.

My director services range from strategy development, restructuring and turnaroundsmergers and acquisitionsbrand developmentlegal industry knowledgereputation management, industry alignment and succession plans to client retention, strategic pricing and product commoditization.

I also act as a sounding board, voice of sober second thought, early warning system, project or process guide, and connector to other highly-value external experts.

Independence enables me to be unencumbered by self-interest and above politics.

Qualifications and Experience

My qualifications as a legal market expert along with direct yet diplomatic points of view and unique perspectives have been honed by over two decades of consulting and advising to a wide range of legal entities plus another 15 years of restructuring management in the corporate sector.

Prior to legal, I led two major business turnarounds — one private; the other public, federally regulated and unionized. Both were repositioned by fixating on the core business, eliminating the ancillary, maximizing profit margins, enabling change based on data, and implementing short-term goals, mid-term milestones, and long-term objectives, all in full collaboration with stakeholders.

Now I work with a wide range of law firms and legal service providers that want these same results.

Business of Law Operating Procedure

Lawyers who manage legal entities also often practice law and serve clients. This can result in a duelling nature between managing client work and pursuing corporate strategic objectives.

Advisory Boards can help shoulder the management load. Boards can be customized to strengthen initiatives such as change or development in strategy or direction, specific innovation processes, project contemplation and start-ups, targeted working groups, and corporate guidance. Boards can implement one-off projects or long-term mandates, which enables flexibility of term.

Smart legal entities are extending their management structure to include Advisory Boards to anticipate challenges and be proactive in meeting, or better yet, exceeding them.

Advisory Boards have long been a standard management component of the business world. The legal industry is starting to catch up. Advisory Boards are active in a number of U.S. law firms, and have been prevalent in Australian law firms for more than two decades. This provides further proof that Advisory Boards have become a standard operating component within legal entities wanting strategic market advantage.

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Heather Suttie 

Legal Market Strategy and Management Consulting

+1 416.964.9607