Following a law degree from Cambridge and a short period in industry, James Mendelssohn spent 10 years developing the marketing functions within two major accountancy practices, both in the UK and overseas.
He then established a print and marketing consultancy, focused on the professional services sector, before taking time out to study for an MBA, with his thesis looking at management structures within international networks of professional services firms.
In 1999, James became the Chief Executive of MSI Global Alliance (MSI), a worldwide association of mid-tier law and accounting firms, with over 250 member firms in more than 100 countries. MSI won the prestigious ‘International Association of the Year’ award in early 2013 at the annual International Accounting Bulletin awards ceremony.
On stepping down from his full-time role with MSI at the end of 2012, and recognising the need that exists within many international networks that are struggling to come to terms with management issues, James established Firm Management Associates, a specialist consultancy focusing on providing management advice to international membership organisations, and the firms that are members of such groups.
Firm Management could be described as a consultancy – but James does not see himself as a consultant. He is simply someone who has worked with and observed over 250 mid-sized law and accounting firms in 100 countries and is interested in working with such firms, and their international membership bodies, to explore how they could and should be managed.