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Conscious Solutions Client Conference What to do about ABS? “ Opportunities presented by the impending changes in the legal market.”. Presented by Allan Carton Inpractice UK Limited May 2010. Allan Carton Director of Inpractice UK 18 years consultancy

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Conscious Solutions Client ConferenceWhat to do about ABS?“Opportunities presented by the impending changes in the legal market.”

Presented by

Allan Carton

Inpractice UK Limited

May 2010

inpractice uk
Allan Carton

Director of Inpractice UK

18 years consultancy

10 years solicitor in practice

MBA (Manchester Business School – NOT LEGAL!)

Specialist Areas

Changing lawyers mindsets

New business strategies

“Client experience” and relationship management.

Marketing, market research - law firms & legal sector

Fee earner technology strategies and technology led legal services

Articles & Publications

Gazette, Local Law Societies, LMS, SCL, Delia Venables, Lexis Nexis and others.

New Horizons for Lawyers and Legal Service Providers, CRM for Microsoft..

Inpractice UK
co operative legal services
Co-operative Legal Services
  • Ultimately, we want to be one of the first ABSs. But we have not yet made any hard and fast decision on which areas to expand yet ....
  • The die is cast on ABSs. If there is a change of government, changing direction on legal services reforms will not be high on its agenda.
  • With the economic challenges facing many providers, we believe there is an opportunity to leverage the power and financial strength of the Co-operative brand.
  • Now, on claims management - We will provide an ethical and reliable customer-focused service that gets people mobile and achieves claim resolution as quickly as possible.

Messrs Gulliford & Ryan


Legal service businesses

will survive and thrive

More variety, different to work in

More in-house

Fewer firms – maybe more outlets

Volume, Niche, Virtual

One-stop shops (the MDP ABS) – find partners now

Better for clients

With some compromises

Maybe no need to be a lawyer at all!

new initiatives
New Initiatives?
  • Co-operative Legal Services
  • Lyceum Capital Partners
  • Optima (ex DLA) – Capita
  • New Businesses:
    • e.g. HIPs, estate agency
    • Claims management
    • Trilliam PLC (Plexus, Cogent, Argent, Parabis, ....), Legal, H&S, claimants, insurers, claims management, mediation?
  • Mergers, acquisitions … rescues, strategic development
  • More “valued” client services
sorry but to survive and thrive
Sorry ... but ... to survive and thrive

An opportunity to initiate change - do business better and smarter!

  • Need business agility – ability to react
  • Get out of the comfort zone, be innovative
  • Work harder, break down barriers
  • Get lean, get focused
  • Get closer to “customers.” Understand what they value
  • Use your client database – get to their friends!
  • Bring outsiders with different expertise in
  • Team up with outsiders – start to partner now
  • Learn how to manage relationships and sell routinely
  • “Get” the telephone and online – and do it right

Maybe ... change your structure to open up opportunities

lawyers traditionally not good at
Lawyers traditionally NOT good at?
  • Management
  • Vision
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Decisions
  • Innovation
  • People
  • Technology
transition how far how fast
Transition - How far, how fast?
  • Options to change from Law firm partnership help us.
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • How many Legal Disciplinary Practices? – vision & capability
    • Managers with a financial interest do better deals
    • Sound, resilient management
    • Make progress, develop commercial arrangements
  • Incorporated – Limited Company
  • Alternative Business Structure – for some.
    • Investment
    • Commercial Management
    • More business flexibility
    • Easier compliance?

Who here?

Vested conflicting interests

Succession ….practical issues

But these are just vehicles.

Like IT, you have to use them effectively

impact of lsb good bad

Outcomes basis of regulation

Potential for external investment to improve

Exit routes

Flexibility of ownership – new skills, wider range of services.

Non legal stakeholders

Supermarkets, banks and other non-legal firms running legal practices

Only licensed if providing reserved activities; traditional legal practice ALL regulated.

Potential conflicts of interest e.g. insurers


Impact of LSB - Good & Bad
business partners new avenues ventures
Business Partners … new avenues, ventures?
  • Providers of managed back-office services, call centres, etc.
  • Providers of outsourced legal processes
  • Financial investors
  • Providers of ancillary services that cater for a wider range of your client’s needs;
  • Other niche lawyers to provide specialist legal services;
  • Marketing companies that help to find business;
  • Management advisors to help develop the business and new opportunities
  • ….
  • What more could you do to move in the right direction?
why did we get here

Why did we get here?

What has to change …. whatever

do we understand what clients value
Do we understand what clients value?
  • Is there a difference?
    • Price is the only factor
    • Price is a major factor
    • Price is a factor
  • Will existing clients pay more?
  • Will some pay more than others?
  • What questions can a house mover ask?
    • There are two
      • How much it costs?
      • ........
perceptions misconceptions
Perceptions & Misconceptions

Regional variations but:

  • Price is only decisive for 15% to 25% of people (2005)
    • 20 to 25% of people not happy with price (MoJ 2010)
  • Price is a major factor for 20% to 30%
    • Think about referral and recommendation – why?
  • Overall previous use of a solicitor decisive for 28% (2005)
    • 23% from MoJ survey, 2010
  • 70% made first contact by telephone (95% in conveyancing)
abs style conveyancing services
ABS style Conveyancing services
  • Don’t get complacent ... But very poor
  • 4mins 40 secs to get to speak to someone
  • Conveyancing quotes at Option 4 on the system
  • 1 minute 20 secs to generate a quote (put on hold)
  • Straight into costs - how much selling at, how much buying ..
  • £816.63 legal fees on a purchase of 665K
  • £816.63 legal fees on a sale at £520K
  • How long would it take? “Depends ....”
  • “I don’t do much conveyancing myself ...”
law firm a
  • Worse overall!
  • 1 minute 15 between reception and conveyancer
  • How much selling, how much buying? (520K, 665K)
  • Where?
  • Can I have your number, I will call you back ... Bye
  • Don’t even know who I spoke to!
  • Called back 1 hour later, apologised for delay
  • £575 on sale, £750 on purchase (went through on request)
  • Did not ask any questions or give any more info beyond costs
  • Did say this would be handled by xxxx, “a solicitor”.
law firm b
  • Have to call another office “but we can see you here”. Gave me a number for the wrong office. Transferred to the other office .. Then to the person dealing.
  • “How can I help?” ... so I asked how much it would cost
  • “Where did you hear about us?” ... I wondered why?
  • Straight into prices. Never asked for my address.
  • Total costs including stamp duty - £29,065.38 (breakdown?)
  • Fees @ £700 on sale, £750 on purchase
  • “Any questions” – no, thanks
  • Sending by email
  • Never asked for the business – short, pleasant, but no rapport
law firm c
  • Awful, painful
  • Transferred to a “secretary” who answered “Hello”
  • Passed to a conveyancer who answered “Hello”
  • Slow, uncertain, gave me a fee for the sale @ £480 then went through (very slowly) fees for bankruptcy, TT’s ....
  • Didn’t get a price for the purchase. He couldn’t find the card to work out LR fee ...
  • Agreed it was easier for him to send me details
  • I lost interest well before the end – 5 or 6 minutes in
  • Then “we’ve been told to ask these questions ... Where did you hear about us? ...”
  • Did reinforce name and direct dial – but it didn’t work.
law society project c 2001
Law Society Project ... c. 2001!
  • It hasn’t changed
  • Poor performance
  • Underlined focus on price
  • All feel the same ... still!
  • Could only decide on price
  • Could do much better
opportunity have we capitalised yet
Opportunity ... Have we capitalised YET?
  • 50% of people move within 3 miles
  • 73% move within 10 miles
  • Age 35+ stay 10 years or more
  • 75% of people use a firm near home
  • £35K + earners use solicitors for more
how do people find a solicitor
How do people FIND a solicitor?

Source: MoJ Baseline survey to assess the

impact of legal services reform, March 2010

  • 56% - personal contacts, family and friends
    • 29% word of mouth, family, friends
    • 3% know someone who works there
    • 23% they or their family had used them before
  • 23% - some form of referral
    • 4% by another legal organisation
    • 14% by non-legal organisation e.g. Estate agents and IFA
    • 5% organised by provider e.g. Insurance company or union
  • 8% - saw the local office
  • 5% - through some form of advertising
  • 1% - through direct marketing
  • 5% - used Yellow Pates, used the library or the Internet
what do we do to capitalise on this

What do we do to capitalise on this?

What has to change …. whatever


First-time Client - Client makes first purchase

Advocate - Client generates additional referral dollars

Majority Client - Client selects your company as supplier of choice

Suspect - could the Client fit the target market profile?

Relationship Timeline

Loyal Client - Client is resistant to switching suppliers; strong positive attitude to your company

Repeat Client - Client makes additional purchases

Prospect - Client fits the profile and is being approached for the first time

Acquisition Role: Finding and winning the right Clients. Marketing & Sales Activity

Retention Role: Keeping the right Clients. Client Service/Service Delivery

Development Role: Growing the value of the right Clients. Up-selling, Cross-selling & Down-selling

Building Client Relationships - Roles

new solutions
New solutions?
  • Focus on client relationship – get them, keep them
  • Bring in or develop more better management
    • Vision, leadership, motivation, innovation, nouse
  • Actively manage the client experience
  • Learn to sell – understand what keeps clients
  • Outsourcing – IT, accounts, telesales
  • Market research – get serious feedback from clients, use it
  • Target business – go get it
  • Streamline processes – use IT properly
  • Online .... Whenever you can
new business strategy
New Business Strategy
  • Start from a clean sheet!
  • Customer feedback, market research – what do they value
  • The classics – SWOT, PEST
  • Define opportunities in context of your business
  • Vision, aspirational client focused SMART goals
  • Develop options – nurture innovation, brainstorm
  • Communicate and debate to generate commitment
  • Define strategy
  • Identify and develop resources and skills
  • Action Plans – defined projects, measures of success
  • Personal Action Plans
  • Review, adapt & communicate
  • Overriding objective: ensure that clients receive value and an experience that prompts them to become proactive ‘advocates’, recommending your services
  • From a clean sheet of paper, how can this best be achieved today?
  • Too many firms are not radical enough in applying this fresh look.
  • Nobody really knows who will be in the market to provide legal services once the Legal Services Act has become reality, but it will be different and will continue to change over time.
  • Commercial firms that may feel they won’t be affected now ought to beware.
  • Practices prepared to explore new options and prepared to be innovative stand the best chance of controlling their own destiny, choosing their business vehicle and capitalising on opportunities.

QuestionsAllan Carton +44 (0) 161 929 8355