Monthly Archives: April 2013

NEW PUBLICATION: Targeting Profitability: Strategies to Improve Law Firm Performance

Targeting ProfitabilityI wrote a chapter for this book, published recently by Ark Group in association with Managing Partner.

The book comprises 110 pages of condensed content and brings together the views of 14 respected experts in law firm profitability from the the UK and US outlining specific areas within a law firm that can be targeted to introduce improvements, adapt processes and training – to generate an increase in profitability.  The other contributors are Tony Williams, Toby Brown, Robin Dicks, Susan Saltonstall Duncan, Steve Gale, Phil Gott, Brian Helweg-Larsen, Partrick McKenna, Simon Nash, Michael Roch, Joel A. Rose, Richard Tromans and Ori Weiner.

My section “Shifting the IT Focus to Developing Integrated Business Solutions” reinforces a lot of what we are doing with law firms at the minute to help firms address strategic issues where effective use of IT is part of the solution.  So there is commentary here to explain the rationale and give some tips on how to ensure the success of initiatives that are critical to most law firms now to ensure the business is sustainable and profitable.  Initiatives relate to:

  • Management of the new role of the in-house IT team
  • Management reporting, KPI’s and effective performance management
  • Client relationship management (CRM) systems and ethos
  • Proactive Performance management (again) and HR systems
  • Introduction of “lean” business processes
  • Adoption of technology on risk management and compliance; and,
  • Adoption of managed and hosted IT services

DOWNLOAD – Free Exec Summary & Sample Chapter and Buy The Book Here >>

Allan Carton

Preview of GMCC Legal Sector Initiative Launch Event – MMU Business School, 24 April

Carol Bartram from Greater Manchester Chamber, Emma Holt from Panonne and Allan Carton from Inpractice UK presented this at a NatWest breakfast briefing supported by Manchester Law Society on 17th April to about 50 local professionals.

If you are a law firm with offices in the Greater Manchester area – please CALL Chamber Events Now on 0161 359 3597 to book your place.  OR email

Senior managers, management and and managing partners from all local law firms around the Greater Manchester area (not just the city centre and not just the larger firms) should please attend the full launch event to find out how to access their share of the funding earmarked specifically for law firms – currently a share of £8.5m pilot with a bid in the pipeline for £50m in phase 2.

With the legal sector under pressure from all directions right now, don’t miss this opportunity to find out about funding that can help to make your practice more competitive – there are no catches and no obligation to do more than listen!

The Chamber of Commerce and 9 Manchester law firms are leading this, so there has to be merit in finding out more about the initiative. They want more local law firms to get involved.

At this free event on Wed 24th April (Next week) at 5:00 pm at MMU you will hear what a group of local law firms are doing to make use of a share of £8.5m of government funding to improve their business … and how you can join them – so please come along.

The founding law firms leading this initiative with the Chamber (who we are working with) are: Pannone, Slater Heelis, Chafes, Colemans-Ctts, Hill Dickinson, Horwich Farrelly, Stephensons, SAS Daniels and Weightmans.

If you want more information or to discuss this before you book your place – call Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 or email here.

Tap into your share of £8.5m of funding secured by the Chamber

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Connections LogoA substantial proportion of this has been earmarked for legal practices with offices in the wider Greater Manchester area … and there is a bid in the pipeline for more.

To find out how to get involved and get your share, contact the Chamber to confirm you want to attend the FREE launch event for the initiative at MMU in Manchester, starting at 5:00 pm on Wednesday 24 April.

This initiative is backed by: Pannone, Slater Heelis, Chafes, Colemans-Ctts, Hill Dickinson, Horwich Farrelly, Stephensons, SAS Daniels, Weightmans and more.

Funding is available to firms of all sizes.

By becoming part of the Chamber’s Legal Sector, you can use some of that funding to restructure the way you run and develop your practice, so you can survive and remain / become reasonably profitable with all the changes going on around them in the sector.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. To BOOK YOUR PLACE or for further information, please email or CALL 0161 359 3597.

Find out:

Why do this?

Like a majority of businesses in the UK, the legal sector has to respond to huge economic pressures. Clients continue to demand more for less, the courts require more rigour in how cases are managed in order to reduce the overall cost of litigation and the Ministry of Justice is limiting public funding of legal services, whilst reducing the fees that can be charged for legal work across a wide spectrum.

These factors are not the only elements that are creating change within this sector there’s also been a significant focus by the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority, demanding more effective management of all aspects of how legal practices are run.  With the introduction of ‘Alternative Business Structures’ and an in increase in specialisation and commoditisation this already competitive market will not be sustainable under the traditional legal practice model.

Every successful law firm will need to remain agile to meet these challenges by delivering legal services through innovation, collaboration and reorganisation of how people, teams and processes (business and legal) are developed and managed.

Meeting the Challenge: The structure and operations of providers of legal services is changing rapidly.  Paralegals account for over 40% of all fee earners within the legal sector.  This figure is expected to increase dramatically, with highly qualified and well trained paralegals outnumbering solicitors, as firms start to delegate more complex work in a bid to reduce costs, but still maintain high levels of service and standards.

All legal firms are now being challenged to look at not only how they perform their legal duties, but also how they perform as an effective business across all aspects of operations.  There are clearly decisions to be made about critical new practices that laws firm could adopt, including; client relationship management, key performance indicators, lean thinking to improve processes, outsourcing and flexible working.

Although these challenges require a relatively speedy response from the industry, this will not happen overnight.  The transition to create a leaner working model and a more robust and diverse range of skills will require investment of time, targeted training and the right resource in place.

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) Legal Sector has formed an Employer Skills Group (ESG) that will help its members to prepare for the future.  The support provided will enable law firms to develop and structure these teams to deliver high quality, cost effective legal services to the Greater Manchester community.

Employer Ownership of Skills: The Legal Sector, supported by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, is working with Greater Manchester legal practices to benefit from collaboration to develop effective joint investment strategies, enabling us to work together to drive the development of skills required by legal professionals. This exciting venture will bring law firms, schools and colleges together making it easier and far more effective for law firms to recruit the best people.

Due to the recent success by the Chamber to secure Employer Ownership of Skills funding, the Legal ESG will assist Lawyers to identify skills issues and develop responses to those issues.  It will help them to take strategic leadership in training, and influence the wider skills system.

Time: Wednesday 24th April 2013 – 5:00 pm

Location: The Atrium, Manchester Metropolitan University, Faculty of Business and Law, New Business School, All Saints Campus, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6BH

To sign up and sign in to register GO HERE NOW >>   For further information, please email or call 0161 359 3597.