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The “New Normal” for Professional Services

We operate in an increasingly dynamic and global business environment. Things are changing quickly and what is considered normal today only, a few years ago would have spun heads. Let’s face it, using 3D printers to create three dimensional objects, wearable electronics to monitor our health and communicate, and Facebook using lasers to beam internet access to dead zones were no more than outrageous fantasies of daydreamers even 3 years ago. The changes in every industry are happening so fast that many are still figuring out how to adopt the last launch before the next 3 have availability dates.


We understand that for the professional services world, adoption of new communication methods can prove even more difficult than in other industries. After all, this industry is meant to provide stability to clients; tweeting, commenting and posting for the world to see with no take-backs is not exactly natural. Some firms have decided that a “wait and see” approach is best. Data from the 2014 Greentarget survey says otherwise. Over 74% of in-house counsel mentioned attorney-authored articles and speeches as somewhat or very important in selecting outside firms for hire, and over 69% of in-house counsel listed attorney-authored blogs as somewhat or very important in selecting outside firms for hire. So now what?


  • Start by doing your research and understanding your audience. Who you are writing for? Where are they getting their information and what problems do they need solved? What pages and content on your site are viewed most?


  • Set objectives based on your firm’s/clients’ needs and desires (as opposed to everything that is possible); implement what makes the most sense and what the firm can handle (i.e., blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter).


  • Provide regular, fresh content. Make sure your website and social media accounts are kept current and utilize a variety of formats, topics and experts.


  • Leverage and promote content across firm and WSG channels. The number one rule today is to increase the impact of your content by leveraging it across sources that are highly viewed and regarded by your clients (not the world). Your affiliation with WSG helps to elevate your authority and relevance as a firm among the industry. Remember content in today’s world of cross referencing at your fingertips is only as good as what comes with it on the search engines.


  • Set measurable short-term and long-term goals; determine and implement measurement tools; review regularly.


Know that the statistics are real, focus on what works for you and make sure you are optimizing the power and reach of the WSG network to efficiently and effectively distribute and promote your expertise and experience to the world. 


2014 Annual Meeting Sneak Peek

The WSG 2014 Annual Meeting hosted by Deacons, being held in Hong Kong at the InterContinental Hotel is quickly approaching. We are very excited to feature our guest speaker, Mr. Tony Williams, Principal, Jomati Consultants LLP, the leading UK based international legal management consultancy. Mr. Williams will be speaking in regards to The Advance of Global Verein Firms - Threats and Opportunities. To what extent are the global verein structured firms a work in progress and what challenges do they face? Are they likely to succeed in meeting those challenges? What are the consequent threats and opportunities for independent firms? 


Tony Williams

Mr. Williams has more than thirty years’ experience in the legal profession, occupying senior management positions as well as direct client handling and fee earnings. Prior to establishing Jomati Consultants, Tony had almost 20 years’ experience at Clifford Chance as a corporate lawyer, his last role as Worldwide Managing Partner. As principal of Jomati Consultants, Tony has worked for a range of international and domestic firms in the UK, US and Continental Europe, Asia and Australia. His advice covers such matters as management succession, partner appraisal and remuneration, peer reviews, firm strategy and its implementation including business planning and the positioning of law firms in their market. 


For more information visit the online program


WSG 2014 Asia Pacific Regional Meeting Recap

The 2014 WSG Asia Pacific Regional meeting was held in Shanghai, China and hosted by local firm Dacheng Law Offices.  The meeting welcomed over 35 international professionals from 17 jurisdictions.  The meeting consisted of panel discussions, valuable guest speaker presentations as well as several opportunities to network among the WSG Asia Pacific members. A Welcome dinner on Thursday night was held on the Huangpu River Cruise.


The special event held on Saturday was a Seminar & Tour of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the economic trade initiative created by the Chinese government to promote international investment from the financial and service sector industries.


According to the feedback received during the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting, Guest Speaker Vivian Jiang’s Presentation: “The Renaissance of Professional Firms in 2020 and Beyond” and Panel Discussion: "Offshore M&A in China" were the top rated presentations.


To the left we have YT Takenaka (Takenaka Partners LLC) and WSG Chairman Sergio Michelsen network during the welcome during the welcome cocktail reception. To the right we have Saturday participants studying the model layout of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at an on-site exhibition hall.



For a full list of presentations and photos please visit the WSG 2014 Asia Pacific Regional Meeting Post Event Page.

WSG Partners with the Academy and SWIICL

World Services Group (WSG) is proud to announce a new partnership with The Southwestern Institute for International and Comparative Law (SWIICL), part of The Center for American and International Law (CAIL), to promote international legal education to overseas lawyers. SWIICL is a membership organization that offers continuing education programs for in-house and private practice lawyers who practice international business law. Its flagship event, the annual Academy of American and International Law, gives lawyers and judges from outside the United States an opportunity to study American and international legal and business institutions, with an emphasis on American law and process. The Academy is business oriented and addresses a wide range of law-related commercial transactions. The practical curriculum includes both skills training and substantive law subjects (legal writing, negotiations, mediation, international arbitration and litigation, contracts, international business transactions, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, international taxation, and more).


Francesco Gianni, Founding Partner, Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners (Italy), and WSG member is the current Chair of the SWIICL. He and his firm have seen the tremendous value of the Academy and states, “Over the years, my firm has sent more than 20 lawyers to the Academy. It is an incredibly valuable introduction to international and American law. I am proud to bring WSG and the Academy together to build a valuable partnership”.


How You Benefit From This Partnership:


  • WSG members will have the opportunity to attend SWIICL’s 51st annual Academy of American and International Law at a discounted rate and without the need to become a member.
  • Exposure to notable International Corporate Counsel.
  • Networking opportunities with other Academy and WSG Alumni.


What Participants Take Away From The Courses:


  • A thought-provoking introduction to the U.S. legal system and international business law.
  • The chance to learn from top legal scholars and practitioners addressing specific questions about international law.
  • Learning in an unparalleled multi-cultural environment through interaction with participants from over 20 countries.
  • The opportunity to form long-lasting and trustworthy international alliances.
  • The chance to sharpen English-language skills through total immersion.
  • Exposure to U.S. culture.


WSG Firms Who Have Taken Advantage Of The Academy: 


·         Bashim, Ringe y Correa 

·         Brigard & Urrutia

·         Bustamante & Bustamante Law Firm

·         Carey

·         Consortium Centro America Abogados

·         Dacheng Law Office

·         Estudio Beccar Varela

·         Makarim & Taira S.

·         SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

·         Garrigues


·         Guyer & Regules

·         Haynes and Boone

·         Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

·         Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

·         Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners

·         Pacheco Coto

·         Veirano Advogados














For more information visit our website at Alliance Partners.


To view the full press release click HERE.



First WSG Meeting of the Americas 2014

This year WSG held the very first Meeting of the Americas joining North America, Latin America and the Caribbean into one meeting to create new integrated program sessions and networking opportunities. The meeting held in Miami welcomed over 84 WSG participants from over 49 different jurisdictions. 

The entire event kicked off with an Anti-Corruption Roundtable of in-house counsel and experts. Topics included the foreign corruption practices act (FCPA), expert discussion on risk exposure, trends, policies, avoidance strategies and planning and compliance. In-house counsel from top multinationals were invited to attend the session followed by a reception and dinner for all those in attendance of the roundtable and the Americas Meeting.


The Americas Meeting program welcomed Timothy Ryan, Managing Director of Kroll, who apprised the group on recent cyber security events, and topics and changes being implemented in the ever changing world of technology. A panel on professional firm risk management included Eileen Garczynski, Senior V.P. & Partner of Ames & Gough, who participated with other WSG member expert panelists to discuss professional liability and crisis management. Judge Jennifer D. Bailey, Administrative Judge, Circuit Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, described the designation of Miami as an international centre for arbitration. These and all the participants and topics generated thought provoking discussion that established interest for more integrated meetings.


WSG 2104 Meeting of the Americas Participant reviews included:


Excellent Network Opportunities Great Idea Sharing of Knowledge of other practices (investment & Accounting). – Anonymous delegate, WSG 2014 Meeting of the Americas

I liked the Americas format and most attendees seem to agree. – Anonymous delegate, WSG 2014 Meeting of the Americas  



Over 65 delegates gather for the 2014 Americas Anti-Corruption Roundtable on Thursday.



 WSG delegates enjoy networking opportunities at the cocktail reception following the Roundtable discussion.  



WSG Chairman, Sergio Michelsen Jaramillo, introduces the three host firm delegates from Graham Thompson, Cifuentes, Lemus & Asociados and Hoet Peláez Castillo & Duque at the dinner reception.


 For a full list of presentations and photos please see the WSG 2014 Meeting of the Americas Post Event Page.

WSG’s 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting Recap

The WSG 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional was a success with over 20 WSG delegates from over 10 different jurisdictions. The host firm ENSafrica welcomed the delegates at their Cape Town office restaurant, 14[fourteen] which offered breath-taking views of Table Mountain. Program highlights held in ENSafrica’s state-of-the-art auditorium, focused on topics such as The Changing Political/Economic Environment in the Africa/Middle East Region and Multinational Law Firms Friends or Foe. The Friday program concluded at the traditional South African Moyo restaurant on the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.


 “It was great to see everyone representing their jurisdictions come together to share their valuable ideas, thoughts and opinions. We are looking forward to next year.”  Koos Pretorius, ENSafrica


WSG's 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting photos:




Michael Schilling, ENSafrica (Mauritius) giving a presentation on Lessons Learned from the Expansion of Multinational Law Firms Into Eastern Europe.



View of Table Mountain 



Delegates enjoy cocktails on the balcony of Moyo Restaurant on the Waterfront.


To see the full list of presentations and photos please visit our WSG 2014 Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting Post Event Page.

WSG Has Gone Mobile

WSG is proud to announce that we are the first multidisciplinary network to implement a mobile application to extend our benefits to our members, giving them more accessibility to WSG’s website no matter where they are. According to theweek.com the “estimated number of smartphones and tablets used worldwide by 2016” will be 10 billion, which will be MORE than the projected world population. The launch into mobile applications is an important factor for any firm or company to grow.


Currently, the majority of WSG mobile app users are from the United States and Canada, with Latin America and Europe falling second and third.



Find your colleagues with our firm and member directory, keep track of your business using our referral/collaboration tool, check out meeting agendas so you know what to expect and lastly, visit our blog to catch up on happenings from around the world.


Scan The QR below or save m.worldservicesgroup.com to your bookmarks:



To read the full press release click HERE.

Referral and Collaboration Tracking Made Easier

Referrals and Collaborations are an important part of a firm’s networking portfolio. Such relationships foster trust and promote new and innovative connections around the world. WSG understands the importance of keeping track of your referrals and collaborations. Our new tool makes it easier to keep track of referral and collaboration details such as a brief overview of the facts, referrer/referee, type of transaction, and fees involved. It allows you to easily see immediate benefits of your membership not only through referral business, but also through less tangible advantages such as servicing of the client, speaking engagements, the free advice policy and many more collaborative opportunities. Many members have begun using this tool since we first launched it last month, and we invite you to join in and start considering the many benefits your membership has already offered your firm.



To view the Full Press Release Click Here

WSG’s New Board of Directors For The 2013-2014 Year

WSG is pleased to announce the election of four new Directors to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Newly elected Directors will serve a four year term. They will succeed Vicente Calle, Partner of Garrigues, Jeffrey Risius, Managing Director of Stout Risius Ross, Pablo San Martín, Partner of SMS - San Martín, Suarez y Asociados, and Lee Suet-Fern, Senior Director of Stamford Law Corporation.


The WSG Board of Directors consists of 16 voting Directors from five geographic regions with 1 Director representing accounting firms in line with the multidisciplinary objectives of the organization. Directors of WSG are elected by representatives from the 160 member firms. Each member gets one vote on behalf of the professionals of their firm. Today, WSG represents over 18,500 professionals worldwide. To view the WSG Board of Directors, go to http://www.worldservicesgroup.com/bod.asp.


The 12th Annual Meeting also marked the election of the 2013 – 2014 Board of Directors' Officers including Sergio Michelsen Jaramillo, Brigard & Urrutia as Chairman; Robert Falvey, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts as Chairman Elect; Corina Bove, Guyer & Regules as Treasurer; and Gary Assim, Shoosmiths as Secretary.


On this occasion, Bradley Kaplan, WSG Chairman 2012-2013, handed over his title to Sergio Michelsen, Brigard & Urrutia. Mr. Michelsen is Partner of Brigard & Urrutia and member of its Executive Committee and Board of Directors. For more than 25 years he has advised clients on significant matters in a number of practice areas and industry sectors, participating in several of the most important transactions in Colombia and other jurisdictions. Mr. Michelsen has been a member of the WSG Board of Directors since 2010. He was the Secretary for the year 2011-2012 and has been acting Chairman Elect for the year 2012-2013.


The newly elected Directors are:


Alejandro Antillón
Pacheco Coto, Legal Services, Costa Rica Alejandro Antillón is a Partner at Pacheco Coto and Head of the Real Estate and Hospitality Division. He serves as the head of the WSG Tax Practice Group for the Latin American Region. Mr. Antillón has been on the Latin American Regional Council since 2011, and currently serves as the Latin American Regional Council Chair for the 2012 - 2013 term. His firm, Pacheco Coto, has been a member of the WSG network since 2005 and hosted the WSG Annual Meeting in 2009.


Gary Assim
Shoosmiths, Legal Services, England Gary Assim is Partner at Shoosmiths and Head of the firm's national Retail and Intellectual Property Groups. He is heavily involved in the WSG INTA Open Group. Mr. Assim has also served as a Chair of the WSG European Regional Council for the 2010 - 2011 term. His firm, Shoosmiths, has been a member of the WSG network since 2003 and hosted the 2012 WSG Annual Meeting.


Mark Harty
LCS & Partners, Legal Services, Taiwan Mark Harty is Senior Counsel at LCS & Partners with a main focus of practice being in mergers & acquisitions, banking and insurance. Mr. Harty currently serves as Chair of the WSG Asia Pacific Regional Council, a position he has held since joining the Council in 2011. His firm, LCS & Partners, has been a member of the WSG network since 2005.


Larry Pascal
Haynes and Boone, LLP, Legal Services, Texas - USA Larry Pascal is Partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP and serves as the firm's Chairman of the Americas Practice Group. Mr. Pascal is currently the Chair Emeritus of the WSG North American Regional Council after having served as the North American Regional Council Chair for the 2011 - 2012 term. His firm, Haynes and Boone, LLP, has been a member of the WSG network since 2002 and has hosted numerous WSG events including the 2011 Annual Meeting and the North America Regional Meetings in 2011 & 2013.


Visit WSG Board of Directors at: http://www.worldservicesgroup.com/bod.asp


WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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