Knowsley Management Services
Legal Practice Management Consultants
Ian Heathwood, Partner, McKAYS
“Three years ago we admitted a new partner upon the merger of our firm with a smaller firm in Mackay. In order to get to know the new partner better and for him to get more of an understanding of what we are about we decided to have a Partners’ Retreat held in Mackay.
We had discussed whether we would ask Rob Knowsley or someone else to be a moderator and decided it wasn’t worth the expense as, after all, we knew what we wanted to do and had some pre-conceived ideas of where to go.
The result was that when we met most of the time was spent with the two partners in charge of our two branches, one being myself, continually arguing over various points – none of which probably mattered one way or the other.
It must have all been quite a shock to the new partner. He saw the two partners responsible for the firm’s management heatedly arguing with each other without actually getting anywhere. It was all friendly as far as we were concerned but for a new partner it would have been quite intimidating.
The net result of the retreat was that we did decide a couple of things which we have gone on to follow but, generally, it was really a wasted opportunity.
One year later we had another ‘Partners’ Retreat’ when one of our existing employees became a partner and another, a letterhead partner. Basically, we played golf and drank beer and decided nothing and did nothing thereafter. Another waste of time and money.
This year, however, we had a Partners’ Retreat in Brisbane with Rob as our moderator. The difference was quite dramatic – the difficult issues were discussed, solutions agreed on, committed to and implementation strategies devised.
Using Rob as a moderator made all the difference. Not only did we reap the benefits of his experience in dealing with hundreds of other legal firms, but he was able to quickly put us back on track whenever we started getting off-track.
If you want to conduct a retreat and actually get something out of it, I strongly recommend you employ the skills of a good moderator. For a legal practice, I don’t think there are any better than Rob.
Finally, the key is to ensure you involve Rob in following up regularly with the implementation of what was decided at the retreat. If you leave it to yourself to do, the chances are you won’t do it!”
Chris Quilter, Partner – Bull Son & Schmidt, Sydney, NSW
“When you have a Firm Planning retreat you’re crazy if you don’t have an excellent facilitator, to ensure the time is well-used and everyone is focussed throughout on the expected outcomes.
At Bull Son & Schmidt we have used Rob Knowsley from Knowsley Management Services to facilitate many of our Retreats over the years and we’re delighted we did.”
Principal, Small suburban practice, Sydney, NSW
“On a personal level, Rob is readily accessible and comfortable to deal with across all levels of practice. He has a practical, common-sense and hands on approach which all of our professional and support staff find beneficial. His ideas are straightforward, always relevant and easily applied.
Time spent at “Knowsley Park” in intensive analysis of firm challenges and opportunities is time particularly well-spent.
We are both wiser and happier for having worked with Rob. We look forward to our continued association. If you decide to work with Rob, your investment, both in time and money, will be returned to a significantly greater degree than you ever imagined.
The writer would happily elaborate on any issues.”
"The best starting point in bringing the benefit of Rob's experience to your firm is an initial free chat on the phone with one or more principals, to get a good handle on the challenges facing you.."
Rob has worked closely with my Firm since 2001. At the time we engaged Rob to guide us, my two partn.