Monthly Archives: August 2014

FREE DOWNLOAD: Generate new instructions immediately, secure more business longer term and retain clients at risk by changing your relationship with existing clients and introducers of business.

FREE DOWNLOAD – How to make this happen

To stay ahead, offer clients what they want … before they know they want it!  But you have to tease it out of them; where is their business going, what does success look like for them them personally and for the business?  How do they use technology?  What options are they exploring now to develop in the future?  Make sure they know that you want to share their journey and are prepared to change what you do to work with them strategically.

Download the pdf here for the whole story

To discuss how his could work with your practice in confidence and with no obligation, EITHER complete this form and we will get in touch OR contact Allan Carton.

E-marketing newsletters are an essential component of any marketing strategy, but it pays to be innovative

Courtesy of Joe Reevy, Managing Director at www.myinfonet.co.uk

Everyone will tell you that a good-quality, well-targeted newsletter is an extremely effective marketing tool.  Here’s why e-Newsletters are STILL the most effective web marketing tool for law firms,

In early January we sent out an e-newsletter to 8,600 recipients. It took less than 15 minutes to do and cost less than £100. In the first 2 week, it created 12 enquiries for our services and, based on that and the data we collected from the management console we use (Fusion Express) , we predict that it will result in £18,000 of new business for us over the next 2 years (we know our conversion rates!).

That newsletter was a ‘Here’s a sample of what you can do’ type, but it is clear that it will be nicely profitable.

The trick with these types of newsletters is to create something that appeals to a current perceived need of a recipient. The process is:

  • Think yourself into the client’s shoes.
  • Develop a solution for a problem.
  • Tell them about it.

We also run a monthly ‘for the market’ newsletter, which is based on the premise of being useful for recipients. In it, we point them toward useful things we’ve found in the form of commentary, software and so on and provide ‘thought leadership’ (or as I prefer to call it ‘things to think about’). Although it is sponsored (via banner ads) and always has details of our product developments, it is overtly non-commercial.

Here the commercial response is much slower, but equally effective. By being useful (and hopefully diverting!) we  become accepted as people who know their onions, are worth listening to and interested in the market we serve as more than just suppliers.  It seems to work (subscribership grows by 50+ a month, month on month). However, in addition to that, it makes a profit, because of the sponsorship by firms that take banners.

There is no reason why your firm’s enewsletter (or, hopefully your enewsletter which deals with a specific area of law and which is targeted at a specific audience) should not combine both elements. This is easily done by having co-branding of the e-newsletter, so that appropriate third-party messages appear on it and are paid for by them…making your marketing profitable.

You can also create co-branded enewsletters with other organisations – why not a local commercial property newsletter with an ‘local market’ outlook contributed by an estate agent and the property law content contributed by you?

Or why not donate your newsletter capability to your local school t circulate their enewsletter in exchange for co-branding and popping in something about planning for University fees or similar.

The benefits of co-branding and leveraging other LOCAL brands/ contact bases are obvious: most professional services are bought locally (and more than 85% of Google searches for law firms have a ‘local tag’ specifying the area of search).

The technology to do all this is built and very easy to use. You could do it today. Why wait?

For more information and to discuss how you can make e-marketing newsletters work most effectively in your practice, call Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355.

Graduate Recruitment Research Findings – Free lunchtime roundtable at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 21st August at 12:00 noon

The Chamber has an event being run by the Higher Education careers Services Unit (HECSU) (details attached) on 21st August at lunchtime when they are holding a small roundtable lunch on 21st August from 12.00 – 2.30 in the Chamber Boardroom for employers who recruit graduates.  

The aim is to share with HR professionals the findings of recent HECSU research into Graduate recruitment.  Here is an outline of the research that has been conducted into Graduate Recruitment, from which the results will be presented at this session.

The agenda includes:

  • Input from the research team on findings
  • Discussion of the results
  • Discussion of the business implications of social mobility and diversity in the graduate workforce
  • Agree follow-up action as appropriate

What you will get from attending:

  • A free lunch in interesting company
  • Sharing of practice in the recruitment of graduates
  • Networking for participants
  • Partnership working between the Chamber and HECSU
  • Enhancement of the research findings
  • Opportunity to impact on DBIS policy at national level

This will be an interesting and informative session for you to hear and discuss these results with others involved in graduate recruitment in other law firms and business sectors.

If you would like to attend this free meeting, which will include a working lunch, please email solutions@inpractice.co.uk to book your place or call 0161 929 8355.

The event will be held at the Chamber’s offices in Churchgate House, 56 Oxford Street, Manchester from 12pm – 2.30pm on 21st August 2014. 

 

Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales: Mosaic JV launched to provide strategic support for Barristers and Law firms

Howard Hackney, Nigel Haddon, MosaicIt’s been good to see Nigel Haddon and Howard Hackney launch their new venture advising law firms on mergers and acquisitions this week as they have a lot to offer from their experience over the years.

Both can be relied upon to provide sound, candid and experienced advice to guide you along the right path, adding an objective view that will help partners make difficult decisions with confidence. That kind of input can very often be essential to get the the right deal done and then implement it effectively to tap into the new opportunities you see possible following on from any deal.

Where can we at Inpractice UK help you in these situations?

As you work your way through the negotiations, it can be difficult to also explore and plan the operational changes and improvements you need and want to implement once the deal has been done, to make the new venture successful, quickly; integrating and developing better use of technology, developing wider relationships with more clients, introducing best practice and streamlining processes as you bring new teams together.

Too often, the momentum is lost once the deal is done, without enough people engaged effectively in making these essential initiatives happen.  That is where we can help, getting involved with you – perhaps working alongside the likes of Howard and Nigel – BEFORE the deal is done.

If you are considering a merger or acquisition of your practice, now is a good time to talk to Allan Carton here at Inpractice UK – free and in absolute confidence – about how to make sure you get all the pieces you need lined up to make the most of the new business once the deal has been done.  

Don’t leave it too late or the inevitable delay in making things happen effectively can seriously damage your prospects of making the new business the success you have in mind.   Then, once the deal has been done, we can help you make sure the right steps are taken quickly and effectively, with appropriate engagement of your people  across the business.

For more information on our services to support you in implementing a merger or acquisition, call Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 or email acarton@inpractice.co.uk

The news on this launch, courtesy of TheBusinessDesk

TWO experienced North West professionals have teamed up to launch a venture aimed at driving deal flow in the legal sector. Nigel Haddon, the former managing partner of regional law firm SAS Daniels, and former Grant Thornton partner Howard Hockney have set up Mosaic M&A which will provide advice to barristers’ chambers and senior management teams at medium-sized law firms planning mergers and acquisitions.

Amid a challenging funding environment and a consolidating and highly competitive sector, research from the Law Society indicates that one in three law firms expect to merge within the next three years.

Nigel Haddon spent nearly 20 years at SAS Daniels and was chief executive for eight years, during which time he oversaw several acquisitions including Richard Lee Solicitors (2007), Berry & Co (2011), and TWP Solicitors (2012). He said: “There is no doubt that the legal services sector has experienced seismic changes in recent years, notably following the Jackson reforms and Legal Services Act. It is a fragmented market, with over 10,000 firms, which is poised for further consolidation right across the spectrum. We also expect continued consolidation among barristers’ chambers as they bid to cut costs and respond to competition. “We are bringing something new to the market in M&A support for legal services. Combining my experience in the sector with Howard’s financial expertise, and our joint experience of mergers of professional firms both from the inside and as external advisers. Mosaic M&A will be there to help management teams navigate their way through what can often be the most challenging part of any managing partner’s career.”

Howard Hackney spent over 25 years as a partner at Grant Thornton. During his career, Hackney has advised on a number of notable transactions, most recently including Slater & Gordon’s acquisition of Manchester-based personal injury firm John Pickering and Partners. He said: “We are passionate about supporting businesses during periods of change, adding real value and helping solve the problems that keep managing partners awake at night. With more than half of transactions failing to meet their objectives, Mosaic M&A is committed to working with law firms from across the country to manage acquisition, merger and exit strategies and help to ensure success.

“Nigel and I will work on assignments personally and our experience in working with both small and large firms will be integral to understanding the needs of all parties and getting deals ‘over the line.”

The joint venture has been formed between the Nigel Haddon’s and Howard Hackney’s respective firms Nigel Haddon Consulting and Howard Hackney LLP.

VIDEO: Why law firms like yours ARE moving IT to the securely hosted and pro-actively managed “Cloud”

Paul Stothard, Tees LawWe help law firms develop their use of technology, whatever that requires; always operating on the basis that IT is more about the people who use it than the technology itself; we say it’s two-thirds people and one-third technology.

Just one aspect of what we do is to help legal practices decide whether moving IT infrastructure to a secure, hosted data centre, managed pro-actively by a third party is the right move now, to free up internal IT people to focus on developing systems, training users and providing local support where it is needed.

For some firms, it is the right thing to do now; for others, it is not now and there are a wide variety of very flexible options that include “managed”, “hybrid” and “fully  hosted” solutions that ought to be considered from a number of suppliers that are established or are introducing new leading edge solutions in the legal sector.

The question we are asked most frequently is “are other firms like us really doing this?” as it’s not something lawyers talk to colleagues in other firms much about.  If you haven’t seen it, you don’t know it’s really happening, which is understandable – and there is scepticism. However, the reality is that this IS happening and it works if you choose the right supplier for you at the right time for you and manage the transition effectively.  Technology and suppliers have improved and the early days of pioneers in this area are now long over.

Back in September 2013, we provided feedback from our survey of users of hosted IT systems confirming that almost 20% of all law firms use a hosted practice management system … and that number has grown significantly since then.

Here is a good video from Paul Stothard, CEO at Tees Law, solicitors (c. 220 people) which outlines why – at the right time and in the right circumstances, and provided the transition is managed effectively to ensure that people come with you – the mid range law firms we work with are making this move.  Check it out below.

For a free discussion to begin to explore options to develop your IT systems, which may include a potential full or partial move to a managed or hosted environment, contact Frank Manning, Andrew Simmans or Allan Carton or call +44 (0)161 929 8355.

Any preliminary discussions are free and will give you valuable insights into suppliers, solutions and approaches to effective implementation.