NEW E-signature approval – now, how can you put this to work to reduce your operating costs and make legal transactions easier for clients?

Process improvement in Law firms - lean thinking, legal practice managementGood news here for clients (and for law firms) as we now have reliable backing for use of e-signatures in commercial transactions at least. The linked note from this Joint working party probably provides the clearest concise summary you will find of the current legal position on e-signatures across different areas of law, so you can decide how far you are willing to go in introducing more efficient (for you) and easier ways (for the client) of getting the job done.

I strongly recommend that you download the guidance note from the link below and share it widely in your practice to help initiate or progress improvements in process.

Download the working party’s guidance note and review here >>

A joint working party of more than 20 City law firms, co-chaired by Linklaters, has come together today to endorse the use of digital signatures in a business context. The joint working party of The Law Society Company Law Committee and The City of London Law Society Company Law and Financial Law Committees has produced a guidance note to help parties who wish to execute English law commercial contracts using an electronic signature.

The aim of this initiative is to make document signing faster, easier and more convenient by offering signatories the ability to sign documents directly from a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Electronic signatures have the potential to put an end to the time consuming practice of having to “print, sign, and scan” multiple documents and allow a signatory to access a document securely over the internet and insert his or her signature in the appropriate place.  Read more here >>

To explore how best to implement this guidance in your processes and working practices, contact Allan Carton at Inpractice UK on 07779 653105 or at acarton@inpractice.co.uk.  We are happy to have a preliminary confidential discussion to explore options for free and without obligation.

DOWNLOAD: New Internet Newsletter for Lawyers

Blended LearningThe latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published here >>

In this issue

  • Developing People – Allan Carton of Inpractice UK explains how firms can introduce more effective training using e-learning tools and blended learning
  • Marketing – Susan Hallam of Hallam Internet tells us about the recent changes to Google AdWords results
  • Workplace – Chris Bryden and Michael Salter analyse the “snoopers’ charter” regarding employee communications
  • ODR – Graham Ross of Modria alerts us to the new ADR regulations being ignored by online retailers
  • Office applications – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words explains how Google Apps for Work can benefit office productivity
  • Legal practice – Delia Venables considers the emergence of the new breed of “dispersed” law firms
  • Social media – Nick Holmes walks us through how Twitter works

Access the Newsletter online


Need CPD? – Details of the new Internet for Lawyers CPD 2016 competence courses are now online.

Residential Conveyancing: How to make a good profit … AND extend your private client practice.

Inpractice UK have partnered with TheConveyancingMap to deliver a tailored service to help conveyancers quickly and reliably set out a sound plan to develop their residential conveyancing business; also engaging the conveyancing team in the initiative to make sure that plans are put into practice.Getting the Business Strategy Right, law firms and legal practice

This service is delivered by Allan Carton at Inpractice UK and Richard Hinton of theConveyancingMap – each with more than 20 years’ experience of developing conveyancing services in the legal sector.

Objectives

  • Define and implement an assured strategy to develop a more profitable residential conveyancing business.
  • Identify the weaknesses of your competitors and exploit them effectively
  • Generate more profitable private client instructions as a direct result of an increase in  your conveyancing business.
  • Engage your people in your plans for your business, by helping  them to understand it.
  • Establish a presence and effective relationships where they really matter to generate the conveyancing business you want.
  • Focus any spend on marketing and promotion where you can be sure it will target the people you want as clients.

Who is this for?

Any practice that provides conveyancing services will benefit from an objective review of the market in which they operate.  Conveyancers may also be interested in our specialist workshop on dealing with conveyancing quotes / enquiries and maximising referral opportunities.

WHAT YOU GET:

A:  Market Intelligence

TheConveyancingMap intelligence on transactions completed in your local area, including a clear picture of who is doing what,  This includes mapped distribution, volume and value of conveyancing transactions handled in your catchment area by:

  • Each conveyanConveyancing Market Intelligencecing competitor.
  • Each estate agent

B:  Expert Interpretation in Context

A preliminary report providing expert interpretation of this information in the context of your business, identifying key opportunities and potential challenges.

C:  Brainstorm with Our Experts – Explore Options, Agree Strategy & Plan

Up to a day of consultancy, working with your team on your premises to develop an agreed strategy and action plan to develop your conveyancing practice, most effectively to meet your objectives for your practice.  During this session, Allan Carton of Inpractice UK and Richard Hinton of ConveyancingMap will work with you to:

  • Explore the data and opportunities, and potential strategies
  • Identify best prospects and where they live
  • Define how to extend services with current clients
  • Develop, agree and refine a strategy and outline action plan to capture these opportunities.
  • Engage your key people in the discussion to build a shared view

D:  Defined Plan of Action

We then deliver a concise report recording the conclusions, strategy and plan of action agreed during the workshop session and any other recommendations.  This is to be shared and actively reviewed to engage the whole conveyancing team and to track progress; and to be adapted over time.

Optional Extra: We can “mystery shop” your practice and your competitors to add more intelligence to identify more opportunities to differentiate your practice, to make you stand out above competitors.

To find out more, complete the enquiry form on this page or contact Allan Carton at acarton@inpractice.co.uk or Tel: 07779 653105.

Business Performance Research: Assessing how treatment of employees at work impacts on business results.

Employee EngagementTo what extent and in which areas are the people undertaking that work being appropriately recognised, engaged and supported to ensure the success of new strategies, projects and initiatives?  What impact does – good and bad – treatment have on results?  Does it really matter? Can the returns be quantified to justify investment of £x or y hours in getting the balance right? Everything is a balance!

Complete this confidential 10-15 minute survey to find out how you, your legal practice and the rest of the legal sector fare on “Organisational Justice” that could impact on performance.  

The questionnaire highlights where lawyers can drive both high and low “Organisational Justice”, which is connected to many behaviours that affect the bottom line, e.g. retention, absenteeism, reduction in productivity, counter productive work behaviours etc.

The Objective of this Research:  Since the 2007 recession and the introduction of ABSs, law firms have been undertaking change.  Amanda Galley is exploring an emerging gap that could hinder their hard work.  Whilst law firms are working hard to change their structure, strategy and systems/processes (new IT systems, project management roles, pricing models etc), there is a fundamental element – the people undertaking the work – where lawyers may need to be pay more attention. The results of this research will help the legal profession to understand this potential gap.

Organisational Justice: is about our perceptions of whether we are treated fairly in the workplace and how those perceptions drive our actions.  The impact could be a positive or negative change in our behaviour; or it could even encourage us to leave or stay at our place of work.  A brief explanation of the three separate constructs within “Organisational Justice” is given within each section as you complete the questionnaire.

Confidentiality:  You will NOT be asked for names or firm names.  There are a few demographic questions at the end of the survey but just generic questions, nothing that can be traced back to anyone.

Who should complete the survey Please only complete this questionnaire if you work or have worked in the legal profession.  As well as employees, Partners and Owners are also encouraged to participate.  Partners and owners – you should still please answer from your own viewpoint, even though some sections are asking about ‘partners and owners’

For more information. email Amanda Galley at amandajanegalley@hotmail.co.uk

CONVEYANCERS – help clients to recommend you, let new prospects feel what it’s like to be a client

Conveyancing-WorkshopTwo key findings from recent research by tmgroup that can help conveyancers make the most of new opportunities to grow new business across your practice.

Conveyancers – particularly in the current property market – are in a great position to generate business, not just for their own department, but for the whole of the private client team; and commercial too, as company executives buy properties too of course.

  1. When it comes to why clients pick conveyancers, the biggest factor by a significant margin was communication, not price.
  2. Once a client recommends you to their friends, relatives and work colleagues, those who then use your services as a result see that this is the way things should be done – so they in turn are more likely to recommend you too.

All the more reason then to make it easier for your current clients to recommend you; so how do you do that?

Today’s Conveyancer reports today on tmgroup research which shows that people who were recommended a solicitor through a friend are more likely to make a recommendation themselves; whereas those who took an estate agent’s recommendation were much less likely to make a recommendation … and those who found a conveyancer online.

And … when it comes to why clients pick conveyancers, the biggest factor by a significant margin was communication, not price.

So isn’t that something your prospects should experience when someone calls for a “quote”?   Your people don’t need talk about it; just do it.  

AIDA works but involves some initiative by your people to:

  • Get their Attention
  • Demonstrate your Interest in them.
  • Arouse their Desire to come to you, rather than someone else
  • Agree next Actions, to keep the momentum going

Unfortunately, all our own mystery shopping research shows that little has changed in the last 15 years; still virtually no conveyancers make any effective effort to demonstrate their interest in communicating at this stage!

Conveyancers still keep focusing almost entirely on price – because the easiest question to ask and to answer is “How much ..?”

It could easily be so much better!

Conveyancers may also be interested in the following posts:

10 Principles of Strategic Leadership

10 principles of effective management

Courtesy of Gilberto Carvalhais Ferreira

Many leaders in law firms have never tackled the first hurdle (No. 1), feeling unable to share the load with others, so they never have enough time.  To share the load to get over this, objectives need to be clearly defined and gaps in skills need to be filled.  Invest time in managing performance against agreed objectives and tasks, mentoring others to develop their business and personal skills.  Don’t try to do it all yourself. There just aren’t enough hours in the day … and the rest works for me too!