Commercial Awareness for Lawyers
Designed as a Diploma text, this book is worthy of a much wider, and older readership.
It more than covers the Law Society of Scotland learning requirements – it is a vade mecum (look it up) for any young solicitor seeking to understand areas and disciplines which will actually make us men, or these days, women of business. And indeed there are very, very few solicitors who would not learn something from this book – and yes, I include many of the managing partners of the last 25 years, conscripted to the job without qualification, experience or interest in the subject. And look what happened to their firms.
I have to declare that I know the authors. They were enthusiastic and talented tutors on the Glasgow Diploma a few years ago. They have gone on to grasp their subject and provide in a very readable and insightful 400 pages all that the profession used to expect solicitors to pick up by osmosis.
They have spoken to the right people. They have a very chatty, user-friendly style which is no small achievement when dealing with bodice-rippers such as money laundering, engagement letters and cash management. Indeed, the book is seamlessly written. I was unable to distinguish Iain chapters from Andy chapters.
The book is so good I can forgive the truly awful Dyson joke on p.42. Deciding what to leave out could not have been easy. I would have liked to see something on the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (no, not T.E. Lawrence) in chapter 7 and credit to the LSS Cost of Time Survey in chapter 21. I would imagine the complaints chapter may need revision in the near future. At the moment, the authors are to be congratulated in bravely pointing up the excessive delays in a Scottish government designed system.
But these are suggestions, not criticisms. The authors have done well to tackle the whole subject and confirm that we are in the era when finders and minders are even more important than grinders.
As I went through it, I made notes with clients in mind – eg tell MK about p.184, speak to IB about the delegation chapter. And to all firms – p.97 counsels law firms are not banks. Remember that. The thousands I see in unclaimed outlays is mad in this day and age.
Every office should have a well-thumbed copy of this book in their library.
Douglas R Mill LLB, BA, MBA, D.Univ, SSC
Commercial Awareness for Lawyers by Andrew Todd and Iain Sim. Pub by W.Green, 250 pp. £45.