Recently Legal Week has reported on intensifying efforts by some law firms to boost their business development capability and in particular, the effectiveness of fee earner efforts to develop relationships. Some of the articles can be found at:
https://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/news/1724064/taylor-wessing-partners-devote-hours-business-development and https://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/news/1724027/ashurst-train-partners-client-management
What does this signify? I think – in part – it’s a sign that firms are becoming more confident. There is a recognition that growth is out there – but to compete, you’ve got to be better at relationship building rather than changing the background on the website (again).
In an indirect way though it may also though be a forerunner of the heavily mooted changes in the sector. Increased confidence about the future for legal services – in the round – may also intensify the interest of potential 3rd parties and investors. The whole issue of Alternative Business Structures and “Tesco Law” has been around for a while now but owing to the depressed market conditions of the last 2 years, some had consigned it to “won’ t happen here”.
I’d argue that the increased focus or client development and the recognition of growth potential make it more likely that happen it will. All marketers should keep an eye on this in the next 12 months.