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Interim Management

Interim Management during times of change. 

I am the only independent consultant in the Canadian legal market who provides executive Interim Management. As a result, I am the first call.

I provide executive leadership on a selective and limited basis for:

  • Audit or restructure of law firms and legal service providers pertaining to organizational structure, corporate governance, practice groups, industry teams, and/or marketing and business development units.
  • Firms/providers/teams requiring propulsion to ignite or accelerate high-profile projects without adding to headcount.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions — from pre to post — when experience, expertise, trust and confidentiality are paramount to successful completion.
  • Planned and crisis departures of executive personnel, such as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Client Officer (CCO), Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO).

Interim Management Experience 

Highly experienced and known for ‘parachuting in’ fast, I can usually be in place within days, integrate easily, and engage effectively with speed. Known for a calming presence, my strength and value are fully realized while working under challenging conditions when situations are turbulent and tensions are high.

I bring skills and knowledge not often available, and am able to address specific skills gaps or problems. This enables me to quickly make a positive impact from the outset.

My experience and expertise can also act as an accelerant to propel projects, and deliver measurable results within a controlled time span while mitigating risk.

Being independent enables me to act in the best interest of a client without constituting any threat to current management and other team members. Clients say I provide a “seamless experience” and “augment the existing team, provide project-specific assistance, then leave them with a framework in place to continue once implementation is done.”

While my independence provides objectivity, I take my client’s success to heart. Therefore, my goal is to always leave a firm or provider in improved circumstances, and when appropriate, provide future plans for consideration.

Approach and Process Steps

Interim Management is handled as a term engagement, and depending on scope and duration may be arranged on a value-based fee, monthly retainer, sliding scale, or project basis.

Engagements vary in scope and often encompass change management, crisis management, gap assignments, project management, and turnaround management.

When approaching the conclusion of an engagement, I ensure that objectives have been met, and knowledge transfer and coaching are provided along with full mandate documentation.

While this may conclude an Interim Management engagement, I am usually able to provide ad hoc consultancy to enable a smooth transition. Due to gaining knowledge of and insight into a law firm or legal service provider client, I am often re-engaged for follow-on assignments, advisory arrangements, or consulting engagements.

Engagements and Results

To date, Interim Management has been provided for five national law firms and one global law firm. One engagement was long-term, another firm has engaged me twice while yet another has engaged me on five Interim Management mandates.

Scope has included leadership, direction, guidance and transition stability. Mandates have also included two mergers — one global, the other national; operational management during a brand rollout; procedure creation and implementation; specialized strategy development and tactical plans; and, organization change and restructuring recommendations.

Interim management can be sensitive work. If transitional leadership is under consideration, please be in touch. Together, and in confidence, we will determine if your needs and my expertise are an appropriate fit.

What They Say

Heather has been retained for a number of key projects over the years. The most influential was the management of a high-profile advertising campaign in Canada, the United States, and South America to build brand awareness for Norton Rose’s entrance to these markets through mergers with Ogilvy Renault and Macleod Dixon. The dramatic market-changing effect helped propel Norton Rose to become one of the largest global legal practices and one of the top legal brands in Canada.

Lise Monette, Chief Markets Officer, Miller Thomson LLP; Former Global Head, Client Programs and Chief Marketing Officer, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

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Heather Suttie 

Legal Market Strategy and Management Consulting

+1 416.964.9607