Do Solicitors’ Practices have a value?

on 23 June, 2010 Email this Email this - Print this Print this

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…

After that, I spent 7 years working for Dun + Bradstreet, the worlds’ largest business information company.  I joined them as UK Company Secretary and over the next few years was promoted to be the Company Secretary of Dun + Bradstreet Europe, then Dun + Bradstreet Group and then their UK Legal Director.  I was responsible for all of D+B’s major UK based legal matters.  When Dun + Bradstreet were in the City, it made sense to use a large City based Practice.  When Dun + Bradstreet relocated to High Wycombe, I started using three local Firms in the Thames Valley.

15½ years ago, in 1994, I left Dun + Bradstreet to set up my own Consultancy practice, specialising in providing support to the Legal Profession.  Over the past 15½  years, I have worked for over 540 different Solicitors’ Practices.  Initially, I started helping Law Firms generate more Commercial Clients – and we still do – its one of the largest elements of our support services to the Legal Profession.

Over the years of working with the Legal Profession, I have learned some interesting things.  Generally, Solicitors know nothing about marketing.  Generally, they are not good at running a business.  Generally, they are introspective, introverted, isolated and insular.  However, their main problem seems to be that when Solicitors hit an impasse in their business, they don’t have a natural route to turn to for help.

I started getting phone calls from Solicitors along the lines of…….”I know you normally help us generate more commercial clients, but we’ve got a problem and don’t know who else to turn to.”  I started to get involved with developing brochures, newsletters, web sites, quarterly legal updates for web sites, headhunting/recruitment, Professional Indemnity Insurance, raising finance, Profit Diagnostics, Strategic Planning – all for the Legal Profession.  We’ve even developed a Solicitor-to- Solicitor newsletter service called Solicitors’ Network £xchange, so Solicitors can network and advertise amongst themselves.

About 11 years ago, a multi-site Practice asked me to approach some small Practices in a little town where they were interested in opening an office.  When I approached the Law Firms in this particular town and told them that I had a Client interested in the possibility of acquiring their Practice, there was a mega orgasmic explosion of “YES – buy my Firm!!”  It was like a reality TV programme – “I’m a Sole Practitioner – get me out of here!!”

That was how I got involved in acting as a Broker selling Law Firms…

If you've found this helpful, do subscribe to receive new posts via email or using RSS or find out more about our specialist members by clicking here.

Topics: Selling law firms

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet ... to leave yours please use the form below.

Leave a Comment

Corelegal offers legal support services and online support to solicitors and barristers in London and across the UK
Website linkedin by The Blog Coach