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A new breed of law firm will take over the legal market

7th September 2012

Time to re-think the model was a number of years ago.

With

the sensible use of technology

getting rid of the blame culture

getting rid of the ‘must be in the office 9 to 5’ mentality

getting rid of the ‘you’re only working when we can see you working’ attitude

a firm can be freed to do what it needs to do, to more than just survive but thrive. When I managed a law firm in the past I pitched to potential corporate clients 27 times in one year; 23 of them were successful. The partners said to me that I was spending too much time out of the office and admitted that there was nothing wrong with the systems I’d put in place in the office; they worked fine, but they felt they did not ‘see’ me enough!

We’ve created a new model at Berlad Graham; we don’t have 9 to 5, we have a system (and systems) in place to allow solicitors to do what they were trained to do and love to do – earn fees and act for clients.

Go on our website and call – direct because their full contact details are on there – any of our consultants and ask them why they are ‘happy’ and they’ll tell you it’s because of the flexible working environment, the higher income they get from retaining more of their receipts, the lack of office politics, the ability to run their own caseloads and provide their expertise, for the benefit of their clients, at their most optimum time.

I was on a significant Surrey-based law firm website the other day and noticed that you cannot contact any of the fee earners direct; you have to fill in the ‘form’. As the customer I want to speak to my solicitor when I want to – I’m paying for the service! Why are solicitors so precious about themselves; we are a service industry working for the consumer and it’s about time we accepted that?

Not wishing to add insult to injury but many of the firms that have closed have done so because they were badly run, did not focus on providing exceptional customer service as the prime way to gain and retain more clients and were set up for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the client. I know firms that still close, and state they do, between 1 and 2 for lunch!!! Just about the time that some of their clients might want to see them, perhaps??

The economic climate has very little to do with the numbers of firms failing; the lack of understanding and acceptance of what we are providing, a consumer service, is causing firms to fail. Berlad Graham started in October 2011 and by the beginning of August 2012 we went over the 100 new clients target; there is plenty of work for those providing the correct level of service.

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled ‘What to look for when selecting a solicitor’ which caused consternation amongst certain solicitors, because the concept of the article was that consumers did not need to ‘put up with’ the appalling level of service they’d received in the past and should demand better.