The subject of this study is the management of partnership-structure law firms in Taiwan, and this study attempts to propose operational and management methods of law firms from the view of modern management theories, organizational structures and business operation management issues such as management methods, partnership structures, bonus and remuneration systems, and branding. Law firms form an extremely knowledge-intensive industry, and only those with legal qualifications can establish and operate law firms. The competition between legal services providers is becoming more intense, and revenue has been rapidly increasing every year in Taiwan. In 2011, such revenue reached NTD 27.7 billion, showing that law firms have an important role in the operations of the whole of society.
This study is based on literature review and analysis and thorough interviews, selecting four law firms ranging from medium-size to large-size Taipei, and four case studies performed by collecting literature and interviewing partners of Taipei partnership law firms.
By means of case interview, it was found that there are mainly two severe problems existing in law firms. First, an appropriate management system has not been established, including management decision-implementation methods, unfair revenue distribution between partners, and incomplete bonus and remuneration systems. Second, the deficiency of human resources leads to severe outflow of talent. Based on analysis of the results of this study, several ways of improvement are proposed, including an introduction of the management method of “limited liability partnership supplemented by a corporate system,” establishing a “brand image” in substitution for charisma of individual partners, and developing a “credit-accumulated system” instead of “proportional system” and “average distribution system” to utilize an effective partnership structure and management system that integrates and increases overall efficacy, and to increase the strength of business operations and management, thereby promoting the future growth of the legal services industry.