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Award-winning former law firm Managing Partner

delivers sustainable growth
for commercial lawyers and law firms

Jonathan Watmough, award-winning former law firm Managing Partner and principal consultant at HelpingLawyersThrive

Look inside my new book

How To Thrive In A Commercial Law Firm is Jonathan Watmough's 2024 book about people, relationships & leadership in law firms

For lawyers, leaders and law firms who want to thrive in a changing world

Whether you're an aspiring associate or a managing partner, how good you are at people, relationships and leadership will determine your personal, professional and business success.

These are skills which are not taught at law school and which many firms preach but few practice.

Jonathan Watmough led an award-winning City law firm for ten years.

He lifts the lid on what makes lawyers and law firms tick.  Why people, relationships and leadership are fundamentally important for lawyers, lawyer careers, law firm success and life.  Why they matter more than ever in a changing world.  And how to master them.

Look inside


M&A lawyer, managing partner, technologist and author

Jonathan Watmough was born on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales but raised in the Sussex Downs. He has been a lifeguard, gardener, dishwasher, hotel porter, humper in a meat factory, pilot, fruit farmer, decorator, builder's mate and bartender.

He qualified as a Solicitor in The City of London at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain in 1993. Practising in M&A and equity capital markets, he became a partner at thirty, managing partner at thirty-eight and spent the next ten years helping to transform RPC from a London insurance firm into an international, multi-disciplinary professional services business.

The firm delivered five consecutive years of double-digit top and bottom-line organic compound growth when the rest of the market stagnated following the Global Financial Crisis, won Law Firm of the Year three times, won the Managing Partners’ Forum’s strategic leadership award and was named five years running as Best Legal Employer. Jonathan was also twice-named within The Lawyer’s Hot 100 lawyers in the UK.

After ten years as managing partner, he retired from the firm in 2016 to help lawyers and leaders of lawyers cut through to what matters and emulate the simple things successful people do differently in private practice. No theory, no platitudes, just practical common sense guidance on what matters most in the real world of commercial law, why and how to do it to get ahead. And in 2024 he encapsulated this in his book How To Thrive In A Commercial Law Firm.


He has also combined his entrepreneurial streak with his passion for understanding people and relationships and co-founded Quintillion, a technology group that develops cognitive and behavioural analytics. Quintillion’s flagship product, myTeamRadar, uses next-generation human factors visualisation to help reveal, diagnose and resolve hidden performance and wellbeing problems in teams.

"Under managing partner, Jonathan Watmough's leadership, RPC has become one of the most vibrant and best-run firms in the mid-market."

The Lawyer's HOT 100 lawyers in the UK logo


"Cultural integrity and a move upmarket sees RPC named Firm of the Year."

Under Jonathan Watmough's leadership RPC won The Lawyer's Law Firm of the Year in 2014, The Lawyer logo


"Praised by judges for its strong financial results, being 'innovative' and for 'really looking after its staff', the firm impressed on a number of levels. But what particularly impressed the judges was not its financial performance but the steps RPC has taken to position its business for the future - and the efforts it is taking to keep its staff happy."

Under Jonathan Watmough's leadership RPC won Legal Week's Law Firm of the Year in 2015, Legal Week logo


"If you keep your people happy, then your clients will be happy too. Led by a Managing Partner who has no office and the same desk as everyone else who works in this open plan office, RPC achieved outstanding financial results in 2015, and has earned recognition as Best Legal Advisor by Legal Week for the last 5 years. Innovative initiatives to support employeees, a well-developed social-inclusion plan, and an unrelenting focus on understanding the needs of clients, have earned recognition as Best Legal Employer over the same five year period."

Under Jonathan Watmough's leadership RPC won the MPF's Strategic Leadership Award in 2016, Managing Partners Forum logo



good reasons why I'm different and why it matters


I am an expert insider

I spent 2 years as a trainee, 5 years as an associate, 8 years as a partner and 10 years as a managing partner in The City. I know exactly what makes lawyers and law firms tick, what works, what doesn't work and what makes the difference


I am objective

I will tell you what I think and what you need to know.


I understand

I am one of you. I have done what you do. I have felt what you feel. I am there to provide non-judgmental, understanding support to help you make better choices.


"Not nearly enough lawyers thrive in private practice."

I tell it like it is and from two different perspectives. I speak subjectively having experienced the highs and the lows of the commercial law firm world myself for many years. And yet I speak objectively having now seen inside other professional firms in a consulting context and other commercial organisations in my work at Quintillion developing performance improvement technology alongside behavioural scientists.

The common thread that runs through all of my experiences is that the fine margins between those that thrive and those that don’t, and sometimes success and failure, individually and collectively, always lies in some combination of the behaviour of the people, the quality of the relationships of those people and the quality of the leadership of those people. This holds true across all industries, cultures and generations, but commercial law firms are the paradigm example. And this will only be emphasised further as artificial intelligence impacts, competition increases and our world changes.

We tend not to properly understand ourselves or connect all of the dots. We tend instead to be too busy doing what comes naturally to focus on some of the less natural things which are equally important. We struggle to get the best out of ourselves, let alone help get the best out of our colleagues. On most measures of long-term success we will underperform even if we financially compensate in the short term by overachieving. I did this myself to a degree, I’ve watched many others do this and I still watch many others do this. But the cost is high and usually personally unsustainable.


"It doesn't have to be like this."

I know because I’ve observed many individuals, teams and even some entire firms pick their way through this successfully and thrive. In my work, I encapsulate, and help lawyers, leaders of lawyers, law firms and law firm investors to emulate, what I’ve witnessed those people, and the leaders of those people, doing differently.

The surprising truth is it’s not that difficult. No person, team or firm makes a conscious decision not to thrive. Commercial law firms are overwhelmingly populated by nice, normal people doing their best in sometimes trying circumstances, but who can sometimes inadvertently tend to press the wrong buttons for themselves and others.

But we’re all here by choice and we can all choose to make better decisions about what we do, who we work with and how we behave. If we make better choices individually, this will translate into us making better choices collectively.


If there is a secret sauce for scalable and sustainable long-term success for commercial lawyers and law firms, this is it. And in a fast-changing world, it has never been more necessary.

I help lawyers define and realise their law firm

career ambitions

I help law firm leaders thrive and solve problems

I help law firms win the war for talent through leadership, teamwork and culture

I help law firm

investors spend their money wisely

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