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Contributors to the CoreLegal blog include experts from our membership. Our bloggers, who also often speak at CoreLegal CPD Seminars explore the key areas of the legal profession, providing insight, practical advice and informed opinion. Please feel free to comment on blog posts.

If you would like to suggest a topic for a blog post, call us on 01494 483728, email info@corelegal.net or drop us a line from our contact page.

Outsourcing of non-legal services – smaller law firms are beginning to see real benefits and savings

on 12 July, 2010 No comments yet -

CoreLegal founder member David Mort, Director at IRN Research (a market research consultancy specialising in advising the legal services sector) reports on the findings  of a survey on outsourcing among smaller law firms

In May 2010, City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna announced that it was outsourcing its non-legal office functions (e.g. accounting and finance, HR, training, IT, marketing & communications, library and information etc) to Integreon in a multi-million pound deal.

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/cameron-mckenna-signs-deal-outsource-middle-office-functions

In December 2009, Beachcroft and TLT Solicitors joined a third law firm Osborne Clarke in outsourcing their entire library services in another agreement with Integreon to create the first shared information centre in the UK legal sector.

http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/news/1565496/beachcroft-tlt-sign-share-outsourced-library-services-oc

Both these examples are from large law firms but where does outsourcing fit in for the smaller firm?

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Solicitor’s indemnity concerns

on 6 July, 2010 Comments Off on Solicitor’s indemnity concerns -

Some solicitors are still punch drunk from last year.

With fewer insurance companies offering cover this year solicitors need more help than ever. Some are rolling with the punches, others have already given up. Here are the options including the good bad and ugly.

Article Categories: Solicitors insurance
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Is your brand stereotyped?

on 29 June, 2010 Comments Off on Is your brand stereotyped? -

Frequently solicitors gain reputations in one field when they would also welcome work in several others to keep their offices busy. Few solicitors have not been exasperated to find a client has used another firm, for work they could have done, through the client’s mistaken perception of their abilities.

Maybe you are a solicitor who rejoices in your specialism – you have carved out a niche practice and people beat a path to your door. This article is not for you. This is for solicitors for whom the words “I didn’t know you did that.” are the sound of fees going to another firm.

Article Categories: Business development,Law Firm marketing,Marketing planning
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Increase Productivity – Ensure your Solicitors are Stressed in a Good Way

on 24 June, 2010 No comments yet -

The legal profession is a highly stressed industry, particularly in city based law firms. Often we know we feel under pressure especially when a looming deadline leads to a lack of sleep, poor eating habits and little more physical exercise than walking to the coffee machine.

When the coaches and consultants at Coach London spend time with solicitors it is rare that stress does not rear its head in one form or another, which is no surprise. However, what is surprising is that many law firms do not recognise the symptoms and therefore when to take stock….

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Do Solicitors’ Practices have a value?

on 23 June, 2010 No comments yet -

In the first of four articles, CoreLegal founder member Ray Fox (from the Bottom Line Consultancy) introduces us to his specialist work as acting as a broker selling Law Firms.

A few simple questions for you. Do Solicitors’ Practices have a value and, if they do, how do you value them and who would want to buy them?  Easy questions to ask but very difficult to answer.

I hope the following will give you some background to my experience of working with the Legal Profession.  Firstly, I am NOT a Solicitor – I am a Chartered Secretary.  I climbed the greasy pole of industry and commerce through the Company Secretarial route.

For 8½ years I worked for in the Engineering industry, initially as Assistant Company Secretary and then as Company Secretary of a £50M lift engineering Company…

Article Categories: Selling law firms
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‘Do solicitors value their reputation as a marketing tool?’

on 16 June, 2010 No comments yet -

The following statement was made to me by a solicitor  ‘Clients often do not fully understand what they are buying, hence any client review is meaningless’.  I take the opposite view  – It is because clients don’t know exactly what they’re buying that they rely on reviews from others. A few observations:

  • People will ‘buy’ on reputation but many law firms don’t seem to want to ‘sell’ themselves on that basis.
  • Is this part of that strange paradox where collectively solicitors seem sometimes not particularly highly thought of; but individually, between the client and the solicitor, the trust is absolute.
  • The bigger picture must be ‘How to leverage the role of the trusted advisor?’ to engage more regularly with clients and potential clients by providing services that clients would be happy to purchase from their legal advisers.
  • Competing on price makes no sense at all and client’s perceptions of value are certainly not just about the cost of legal advice.

I have had some feedback elsewhere to this topic but having this opportunity to widen the debate, I would be most interested to hear your views.

To compare or not to compare…

Declaring an interest here (another role of mine is as MD of the free online interactive solicitor directory  legallybetter.com ) I am of course keen to find out the views of solicitors on this topic. With that in mind I approached Paul Bennett, from Bennett’s Legal in Shrewsbury commented:

“We are very client focused and solutions driven and that really sets us apart from our competitors.  Comparison sites are one of a series of ways of getting this across. No one method will work alone but I felt now is the time to explore the new communication opportunities.”

As a backdrop to this it may be useful to remind solicitors about the results from a YouGov survey published in The Law Gazette last November which showed that ‘More than 60% of the public cannot name a single law firm… even though 78% have used a solicitor before.’

I believe the survey results made clear that there has never been a better opportunity to promote your reputation and your brand to potential new clients looking for legal advice. The brand ‘solicitor’ is a valuable one – the implied trust and relationship that develops between a client and their legal advisor should be a great source of competitive advantage.

A planned approach to marketing and your communications strategy is the key. Not just a ‘we need an advert, deadline yesterday’ but effectively using the internet and online networking tools can greatly enhance the presence of your firm in your target markets, as well as your firm’s reputation.

Article Categories: Law Firm marketing
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