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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?

slide9
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

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 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?
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

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