Sterling Strategies is a young firm, but its principals have been serving the strategic management needs of law firms for over 20 years.  We have served law firms ranging from the top 20, top 50 and top 100 in the AmLaw listings, a diverse range of mid-size firms, a number of intellectual property and litigation boutiques (large, mid-size and small), and some very small partnerships.

John Sterling has deep knowledge of the professional services industry, but also brings extensive strategy development experience in other industries (including healthcare, metro newspapers, financial services, and consumer products).  His personal qualifications for serving law firms include:

  • Strategic management, market research, and marketing planning assignments for approximately over 100 law firms, including the following recent examples:
    • Leadership of the strategic planning process for one of Wisconsin’s leading law firms – a highly participative process that led to broad agreement on a new firm wide direction.
    • Conduct of proprietary market research projects focused on due diligence regarding the market reputations of potential merger partners on behalf of leading law firms actively pursuing firm combinations in major U.S. cities.
    • Research driven profiling of merger and acquisition candidates – driving short list development, informing initial contact with potential partners, and highlighting issues for further investigation and negotiation.
    • In-depth interviews with numerous contacts at institutional clients on behalf of major law firm – resulting in highly informed business development and client service plans.
    • External market research and strategic plan development for a large practice group within a national law firm.  John helped this practice identify profitable market segments and helped the practice develop strategies to grow its business in those areas.
  • Strategic management and market research assignments for several professional service organizations outside the legal profession – including brand/corporate identity research, national and international practice area strategic planning, and other proprietary research projects.
  • President of the Strategic Management Association in Chicago, Vice President of the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Strategic Planning, and a Contributing Editor to Strategy & Leadership – a leading journal focused on strategic management topics and research.

Prior to founding Sterling Strategies, John was a founding partner of Smock Sterling Strategic Management Consultants, was a Senior Consultant with Ernst & Young’s Great Lakes Strategic Management and Marketing Group, and was a Senior Policy Analyst at The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Office of Strategic Planning.