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Your Online Future

Mid-Tier Yorkshire law firms are out-ranking the legal giants with their online presence.  Read more about how the legal profession is adapting to change and the secrets behind the successful law firms. 

Jayne DrakeMarketing initiatives under the spotlight

In the run up to finding out who will survive the Government's 'dual contract' initiative, the methods we use to attract new business and raise profile are increasingly under the spotlight. In the past, a law firm could rely on a healthy share of clients from many sources such as their duty slots, general footfall from high-street location, word of mouth and repeat client.  The chances of getting through the police station to the court system may arguably have been higher in the past and clients were likely to stick with the same firm for all legal needs.  Solicitors and barristers co-existed with defined roles that suited both busiess models.

It is fair to say that things have changed and we (the legal profession) cannot remain still and expect the same return.  Business models are ever changing and employees are expected to manage many different aspects of the business.  

Cross-referral

I notice there is a trend by firms of solicitors to link and cross-refer clients internally.  Crime and Regulatory departments for instance,are seeing the benefits of joint marketing and cross-referring opportunities with the commercal departments.  The 'Company Director Client' may need the services of both the Criminal and the Insolvency teams.  The commercial client may need to be referred to the regulatory department for a Trading Standards or Health and Safety Investigations.  St Pauls Chambers is proactive in attempts to connect business to buiness.  We see the value in being the centre point of these newly formed connections.

There are many different ways to develop business opportunities and we are tasked to find those methods that suit our business and ability.  We also have to learn news skills, dare I say, website creation.  A recent initiative of St Pauls involved its clerks being trained in the creation and development of Wordpress sites.  This has been invaluable in saving costs for future online website initiatives.  Many law firms and chambers are employing fewer individuals so it's imperative we are committed to the continued development of our workforce.  Brushing the cobwebs from the training budget is necessary.  With a little investment and inspiring vision we could all have a workforce that will be responsible for increasing turnover. 

Keeping a cohesive approach

A cohesive approach to marketing the firm as a whole is necessary but it also has to include the value of each department.  This can be done very effectively with regular content/blogs/articles being produced by the departments.  Content should be directed to a central point within the firm for online publication.  Having a central point enables the firm to present a connected approach between departments with a solid brand message that threads through the content.  The 'calls to action' and the key search terms can be added and presented in a uniform way and can be monitored more effectively if one member/team is overseeing the whole operation.  I see my role as senior clerk of St Pauls Chambers evolving in such a way.  I invite counsel to provide me with regular content and news worthy articles and I disseminate those pieces across our online media platforms.  I consider it my place to market St Pauls Chambers as a whole as well as bringing together the merits of each individual barrister in their pursuit to raise profile. 

Top Yorkshire Law Firms

It is encouraging therefore to see the recent study published by Northern Lights. In a top 100 ranking of how Yorkshire's law firms appear online, Lupton Fawcett Denison Till has taken the top spot.  The report refers to Lupton Fawcett Denison Till having invested substantial amounts of money in online branding and marketing that resulted in record profits.  I don't have the luxury of huge marketing budgets but I would say that this article could also suggest you don't need one.  Yes, it may be necessary to seek outsiders with the skills to make it happen in the short-term, and that maybe how Lupton Fawcett have achieved their success here, but to futureproof your position in the online market place, it's better to enhance the skills and knowledge of your existing workforce and invest in their training.  Let's face it, the future for most will involve technology. 

Managing partner Richard Marshall said: "Your online presence is now a device for creating a funnel of work. We use social media and blogs to create calls to action, make it easy for people to find out who we are, what we do and how to engage with us. Crucially, blogging has generated fee earning enquiries and is turning into work."

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The majority of the 10 firms are mid-tier firms such as Clarion Solicitors, McCormicks and Taylor & Emmett. The only legal giants to appear in the top ten are Irwin Mitchell, Squire Patton Boggs and Eversheds. 

The top 10 law firms for Yorkshire are:

1. Lupton Fawcett Denison Till
2. Clarion Solicitors
3. Irwin Mitchell
4. Taylor & Emmett
5. Squire Patton Boggs
6. McCormicks
7. Wake Smith
8. Eversheds
9. HLW Keeble Hawson
10. Rollits

Congratulations to those firms in the top ten. 

 

Jayne Drake

Senior Clerk

15 June 2015

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