Category Archives: Business Strategy

Benchmark your technology against other legal practices with LSN … requiring them to support a good cause too.

lsn-it-landscapeThe Legal Support Network (“LSN”) have produced excellent valuable information on use of technology in law firms from their “IT Landscape” surveys in the past … and they are at it again, compiling more information that they are willing to share with participating law firms.  This is information that can help you benchmark your use of IT and open up fresh thinking amongst your colleagues about what you might do differently – and better – in this critical area.

This is your chance to take part in this year’s IT Landscape survey, to get access to that shared information AND to enable LSN to contribute to worthwhile charities as a result of your participation too.  Feels like win-win all round?

Please take the survey here >>  LSN say it should take “just a few minutes; around 10-15”.

LSN will donate £5 to Shelter for every significantly filled in response, until we get to a donation of £300. If they get more than 100 responses, they will up the maximum to £350. If they get 150, we’ll make it £400.


If you have any questions, please contact Rupert Collins-White, editor-in-chief, Briefing magazine at LSN at rupertw@lsn.co.uk or on 0870 112 5058.

Residential Conveyancers: Get focused on generating new business from your best prospects.

Define, agree and act on opportunities to improve performance and produce more profit from your residential conveyancing services … and your wider private client practice.

ConveyancersInpractice 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.  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

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!

 

GC Insight: Lawyers need to push more to understand the business

David Eveleigh, GC at Serco

David Eveleigh, GC at Serco

David Eveleigh GC at Serco with a frank assessment of where lawyers – in-house and private practice – need to improve and develop.  More focused on process; better understanding and focus on what needs to be delivered for the business.  His interesting take on lawyer “pull” and not enough “push” to get to know the business feels about right.

Good insight too on how to remunerate to motivate to develop people and culture with the right priorities going forwards.

Making effective changes and innovations here should start by listening to clients … afresh – aiming to innovate and add value to the customer journey.

Read the full interview here >>

FREE DOWNLOAD: What does good performance look like for a legal practice like yours today?

NatWestDOWNLOAD:   NatWest’s 2016 Law Firm Financial Benchmark Survey Report

” … median profit per equity partner is £111,000, which is £4,000 higher than the figure from last year’s survey.”  BUT “If firms could focus more on profitability and perform at the upper quartile point for gearing, recorded hours, recovered rate and margin, they would achieve a profit per equity partner of £409,000.”

“… median profit margin steady at 24%, close to the long-term average of 25%. This suggests that the legal profession has now implemented the necessary changes to earn at historical levels.  Are firms going to be happy with this level of profit?”

… and much more to help you set expectations for your practice.  The survey covers 390 firms, delivering robust regional and national data reference points.

DOWNLOAD your free copy of this informative 2016 report here >>

This is the largest annual benchmark report to date from NatWest, with contributions up by 15% from the 2015 report which you can also find here. 

Business Analytics and Reporting to help you run a better law firm – Bi24

C24, Wright Hassall

Improve the performance of your legal practice – fill gaps in the capability of your practice management system.

CASE STUDY:  Wright Hassall, solicitors implemented Bi24, which is C24’s business analytics and reporting solution for law firms, connected to Wright Hassall’s key data feeds across management reporting, practice management systems and marketing applications.

The Outcomes:  Easy access to data and insights has changed the way teams work at Wright Hassall, providing users across the entire organisation from Managing Partners to support staff with the ability to perform ondemand, self-service reporting whenever they need to. Data can now be pooled between different applications to drive greater insights across work in progress cases and ensure better returns on investment for marketing activities.

One of the most important developments is the ability for the firm to create dynamic client facing dashboards that assimilate information into one place; showing the client’s current billing position, work in progress, outstanding payments due, hours worked and activities undertaken. This enables Wright Hassall to keep their clients up to date and provide them with regular reporting so that they are aware of payments due, which is increasingly important in a post-recession era where maintaining healthy cash flow is a business reality.

Additionally, Wright Hassall are now able to extend their reporting capabilities out to customers of their clients, for scenarios where updates on legal matters are required to be reported to a client’s wider customer base. For instance, Wright Hassall can provide reporting via portals to the tenants of their property management clients with updates on tenancy agreements, disputes and queries. This enables Wright Hassall to differentiate itself by becoming a data services provider to its own clients, in a way that suits the business models and growth objectives of its key client base.

IT Director, Martyn Wells, highlighted the change in the business through the introduction of better reporting practices. “Data is now driving behaviours within the firm. When partners are creating their forecasts and business strategies for the year, they are now proactively seeking out data insights from the Bi24 tool to inform their strategies”, commented Wells. “We are also seeing how better reporting through Bi24 can allow us to stay competitive in an age of fixed price fees, enabling us to continually assess costs and margin positions for better business decision making. Data is now supporting us in achieving our ambitious growth targets.”

DOWNLOAD a copy of the full CASE STUDY REPORT here >>

For more information about other proven technology solutions that can improve the operation of your business, contact Allan Carton at Inpractice UK.