Building for the future
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Building for the future. Peter Scott PETER SCOTT CONSULTING www.peterscottconsult.co.uk. Where are we now?. The economy Legal Services Act implications Greater regulation and compliance PI insurers’ attitudes Technology Client needs are changing Greater need for resource

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Building for the future

Building for the future

Peter Scott

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

www.peterscottconsult.co.uk


Where are we now

Where are we now?

  • The economy

  • Legal Services Act implications

  • Greater regulation and compliance

  • PI insurers’ attitudes

  • Technology

  • Client needs are changing

  • Greater need for resource

  • A fragmented profession

  • A need to become more competitive


The need to be more competitive

The need to be more competitive

“Competition is a process by which …

services that people are not prepared to

pay for, high cost methods of production and inefficient

organisations are weeded out and opportunity is given for

new…services methods and organisations to be tried”*

Could this apply to the legal profession today?

*Everyman’s Dictionary of Economics


The greatest danger

The greatest danger?

- complacency!

“Our strategy is to keep a lid on

expenditure and weather the storm. We

cannot reinvent ourselves as something

we are not”

Managing Partner of a major London law firm – Autumn 2008


An alternative view

An alternative view…

“there seems to be a disturbing strategy of hunkering

down, cutting some fat and hoping that business will

return to normal. That is not good. The terrain will look

very different when this is over. This is not a minor blip,

but a discontinuity”

“the problem is that most senior lawyers think only two months ahead.

They have no coherent picture of the future. The planning is not being

done. And it is senior lawyers who need to be driving change”

Professor Richard Susskind – May 2009


Forward planning focus on the fundamentals

Forward planning - focus on the fundamentals

  • The kind of firm you want to be

  • Your clients

  • Your people

  • How you can achieve your goals


Where are you now

Where are you now?

  • What are the most important lessons you have learnt from this recession?

  • Which of those lessons will you use to

    build success for the future?


There may never be a better time to face up to your sacred cows

There may never be a better time to face up to your sacred cows


Building for the future

FACE UP TOREALITY

FOCUS ON BIG ISSUES

  • ENTER ZONE OF UNCOMFORTABLE DEBATE

MAKE

DECISIONS

MAKE IT

HAPPEN

Strategy is a continuous journey…


Developing a strategic vision in a partnership

Developing a strategic vision in a partnership …

is a process of finding out:

  • What your (current and prospective) clients value

  • What your partners value

    Identify key skills and behaviours which enable the consistent delivery of your value proposition


Your clients

Your clients


Core issue to add value

Core issue to add value

  • More than the competitors

  • In a way which is regarded as valuable by clients

  • Needs to be value clients care about

    - clients’ perspective

    - not yours


What do client s want

What do client’s want?

“They always try to sell to us on price – but what we really want is to have a good job done at a reasonable price”

Client feedback from a perception survey commissioned by

a law firm


You will add value that clients care about if

You will add value that clients care about if…

  • You provide clients with what they need – and more

  • At prices they perceive to be value for money; and

  • You do this better than the competition


Position your firm to provide value for money

Position your firm to provide value for money

High

Client

Perceived

Added

Value

X

Ave

Suicide Zone

Low

Ave

High

Low

Client Perceived Cost

Bowman and Faulkner 1994 Long Range Planning


How can you find out what clients need

How can you find out what clients need?

  • Ask them

  • Commission a survey of clients and referrers

    Do your clients say you are adding value?


Your people

Your people


Your people your values

Your people / your values?

  • What is valued in your firm?

  • Do you reward what you value?

  • Do you invest in what you value?

    What does it take to succeed at

    your firm?


Is this a block on developing your business

Is this a block on developing your business?

“The only thing this firm values is

personal billing!”


Are some of your people holding you back

Are some of your people holding you back?

Are you presently unable to add

value to your clients because of:

  • internal attitudes and behaviour?

  • Lack of skills?


How to achieve your goals

How to achieve your goals?


You have developed a realistic plan but

You have developed a realistic plan, but…

this will require RESOURCE - resource which

many individual firms cannot realistically and at

an economic and acceptable cost provide

themselves


It is a fast changing world and law firms need to constantly adapt

It is a fast changing world and law firms need to constantly adapt

  • The economy

  • Legal Services Act implications

  • Greater regulation and compliance

  • PI insurers’ attitudes

  • Technology

  • Client needs are changing

  • A fragmented profession

  • A need to become more competitive

    Law firms need greater resource to be

    competitive


Is lack of resource making you uncompetitive

Is lack of resource making you uncompetitive?

Often a lack of resource of expertise

(client perception surveys will show if this is the

case)

Often a lack of financial resource

(inability to invest in your people and in the

business)


The resources to be competitive

The resources to be competitive

Will you have the resources on your own

to achieve your goals?

If not, then merger may need to be

considered


How can merger help to provide us with the necessary resource

How can merger help to provide us with the necessary resource?

NB – merger is not a panacea

- often just a better platform on which to build a more

competitive law firm

- not about size for the sake of size


Merge for the right reasons

Merge for the right reasons

  • Merger is not a strategy – it is a means to an end – to gain competitive advantage

  • Merger can help build RESOURCE – to enable a firm to provide its clients with what they want at a price which the clients regard as ‘value for money’


The scale of a new firm may help to enable

The scale of a new firm may help to enable…

  • the new firm to be developed at an

    acceptable economic cost to each

    constituent firm

  • which the individual firms could not on their own provide


Quality resource to enable the new firm to

Quality Resource to enable the new firm to…

Attract and retain the best

talent


Quality resource to enable the new firm to1

Quality Resource to enable the new firm to…

Provide clients with the depth

and breadth of expertise they

now require, where and when

they need it


Quality resource to enable the new firm to2

Quality Resource to enable the new firm to…

Build the quality management

which will be required to

successfully compete in the

future


Quality resource to enable the new firm to3

Quality Resource to enable the new firm to…

Provide the necessary infrastructure to underpin

the effective provision of high quality

professional services demanded by clients


A vision

A Vision

To build a BRAND which can begin to

compete with larger, more developed

firms for better quality, higher value

work leading to greater

competitiveness and profitability


Is this a vision you share

Is this a Vision you share?


Any questions

Any questions?


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