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Award-winning former law firm Managing Partner

I help law firm investors
spend their money wisely

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


I am an expert external adviser, consultant and guide to help law firm investors spend their money wisely

Commercial law firms can be great businesses and almost all are in private hands so there is a wide and deep available market. And there will never be a shortage of partners who see external investment as a lucrative exit or retirement opportunity.


But commercial lawyers are unusual. The client relationships tend to be personal and trust-based, not institutional, and so in the better firms the partners don't own the equity, they are the equity. They are professionals who tend to be motivated by doing great work and short-term recognition for that rather than entrepreneurs motivated by long-term capital growth.

The nature of the work and the clients influences the nature of the people, and together they have sculpted a collective business model which hasn't changed much for generations. But this model is applied is as many ways as there are firms and might need to flex more in the next ten years than it has in the last forty.  A combination of the effects of increased protectionism, artificial intelligence, the adjustment to normalised interest rates and people-related challenges as a result of the pandemic mean that the next decade could see considerable change percolate through commercial law firms, and this could redraw the competitive landscape.

This will bring investment and consolidation opportunities as well as threats.

I'm an insider. I spent 2 years as a trainee, 5 years as an associate, 8 years as an M&A partner and 10 years as a Managing Partner in The City. I know exactly what makes commercial lawyers, law firms and law firm clients tick, what works, what doesn't work and what makes the difference. Having spent most of my career working in and around corporate finance, I also understand what makes investors tick.


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

My role is to help investors sort the wheat from the chaff and invest in the right law firm businesses and people, for the right reasons, with the right strategy and in the right way. The type of help I can provide includes:


Understanding how commercial lawyers, law firms and the market really work

The historical market.

The nature of the work and client demand.

The nature of the people and lawyer supply.

Why it's all about people.

Internal hierarchies.

Types of firms.

Leadership & politics.

Where the market might be heading.

Target due diligence







Post-investment support & monitoring

Performance review.

NED support.

Buy & build

M&A / bolt-ons.

Forcing growth through partner lateral hiring.

Performance improvement

Leadership mentoring & development.

Measuring & monitoring team effectiveness.

Why waste valuable time and capital learning the hard way? Why make all the usual mistakes? Why risk a failed or underperforming investment?


I'm here to cut through to what matters and help so do please contact me and let's discuss. I'm very happy to invest some time to get to know each other and see whether we might work well together.


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."

Jonathan Watmough was twice named in The Lawyer's HOT100 lawyers in the UK


"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


"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


"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 MPF's Strategic Leadership Award in 2016


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

For those who want to know how lawyers, leaders and law firms can 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.

Start your journey
to investing in a commercial law firm

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