Legal sector news
Which are the real figures?
Charles Russell Speechlys’ financial results were treated very differently depending on which title you read. Legal Brief (the new kid on the block) covered the firm’s “international growth up 24%” angle. However, this headline begs the question: if international is up 24% and firmwide is up only 3%, how much has the UK revenue dropped? Law.com didn’t fall for the line and went with a much more straightforward “Charles Russell Speechlys’ Growth Shrinks, PEP Falls”.
Read the articles on Legal Brief and Law.com to compare and contrast the spin.
CC’s growth beyond banking
Another thing that grabbed our attention a few days ago was the transparency of Clifford Chance’s financial results. Check out this post by the firm’s chairman, Jeroen Ouwehand – especially slide four, which shows that revenues from banks have been almost static for the past seven years, but that corporate is up 50% and financial investors’ revenues have doubled.
More shares like this from law-firm leaders, please.
The wrong goal?
We need to talk about quality over quantity. A recent report by Passle showed that small firms have more legal updates issued per lawyer than large firms. See this piece, for example, in Legal Futures: “Large law firms ‘struggle to give their lawyers a voice’”. The problem is that this is nonsense. At no point does the article mention clients’ desire to receive such materials.
I have conducted research in this area and found that clients want accurate information which addresses their needs, delivered in a timely fashion. The last thing they need is more volume or more spam, where all lawyers are tasked with generating a piece of content each a month in order to satisfy some arbitrary HR or marketing box-ticking, personal-performance goal.
So, what should we do? Let’s serve our clients through our websites and thinking. Let’s do ten pieces of content really well each day/month/year and not worry about hitting arbitrary targets, especially without taking account of clients’ opinions about what they actually want to read.
Bank of England rate rise and mixed signals
There’s mixed messages about the state of the market and a Bank of England predicted upcoming recession following the recent rise in interest rates.
On the one hand, we have Simpson Millar, one of the UK’s leading consumer law firms, announcing the closure of three departments. One hundred roles are affected by the firm’s plans to exit the dispute resolution, employment and wills, trusts and probate markets in an attempt to stem its operating losses.
On the flip side, Leigh Day has announced plans to double its head count.
Norton Rose found itself caught offside as the last major firm to announce a major NQ salary hike just as others are predicting recession.
The outlook for the legal sector is probably best described as ‘challenging’. But one thing is clear: no matter where you sit in the market, you need a plan to emerge stronger from the changing economic conditions.
The Lawyer Awards winners
Congrats to our client Bellevue Law, which was Highly Commended in the recent Lawyer awards. The Lawyer hides the full winners’ list behind its paywall, but as Bellevue kindly invited me to be there on the night, I shared all the winners’ names that I could remember in this LinkedIn post.
Let us know if you’d like to have your name in lights – it helps to differentiate when the market tightens.
Post of the week
Don’t be backward in coming forward
Fear of looking self-involved holds back too many great lawyers from promoting themselves, according to growth strategist Sam Burrett in his recent LinkedIn post.
Yet there’s nothing selfish about writing a blog or posting on LinkedIn to highlight what you can offer – in fact, signposting to potential clients that you have the skill-set and experience they need to help solve a big problem or navigate a crisis is an act of generosity.
If you struggle to write about your own achievements and expertise, let us help you so that you can help others.
The Lawyer Hot 100
It’s the final call for The Hot 100. Every year, The Lawyer recognises outstanding talent and achievements in the legal sector with its Hot 100 list of legal luminaries.
The deadline for nominations is 29 September 2022, with details on the nomination process available here: https://www.thelawyer.com/the-lawyer-hot-100-nominations/
Please let us know if you’d like us to put someone forward.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition.