Four books in one to help you succeed

How to Thrive in a Commercial Law Firm


Jonathan Watmough


£17.99,  available at



At its simplest this book can be reduced to 32 rules of how an individual can thrive in a commercial law firm, whether they are building their career as a commercial solicitor, undertaking business development or managing themselves or others. The rules identified are sound as concepts, and this book will help trainees, newly qualified assistants, associates, managing associates, fixed share partners and possibly managing partners. 

The book breaks down into four separate parts which the author calls Books 1 to 4. The weakness of this approach is that some of the key concepts, such as being a rainmaker, are covered well in an introductory sense, but lack depth. While there is greater depth on being a leader of solicitors, I still wanted the author to expand and share a little more.

How to Thrive in a Commercial Law Firm

Every reader will be able to cherry pick practical nuggets from the material in each section, but the nature of short concepts and practical tips leaves the reader wanting to know a little bit more. Those who are not familiar applying the concepts may struggle without additional research, based upon my own client advisory experience of talking about such matters.

This is a book that I would recommend to commercial law firms as part of both their commercial development tool kit for junior staff and their leadership tool kit for aspiring and existing leaders. I suggest that the introductory nature of some of the concepts provides an opportunity for the reader to improve their own understanding of the concepts and to develop their own style when they put the concepts into practice.  

Those involved in nurturing and developing talent, particularly leaders, should take a look at this book and identify who within their firms they would like to read it. It deserves to be widely read across commercial law firms.

In many ways it is essential reading and a fantastic addition to the law firm management library.


Paul Bennett is a partner at Bennett Briegal LLP