Catherine McGregor, CEO, Catherine McGregor Research
Is greater creativity going to be a requirement for law firms of the future? We caught up with Catherine McGregor, CEO of Catherine McGregor Research, for a quick snapshot of her views around the challenges and opportunities facing law firms as we head in to 2020.
LFMS: Why do you think it’s important to have a conference that unites the business development and marketing decision makers from law firms across Europe to explore current trends and issues?
CM: I think collaboration, connection and sharing of ideas is important whatever the industry. It’s what can drive creativity and innovation.
LFMS: What do you consider to be the biggest opportunity for law firms over the next three years? And what would you consider to be the biggest challenge arising?
CM: The biggest opportunity is being able to work more collaboratively and creatively with their clients, particularly in-house legal teams. The ways that law firms work and how they add value to clients is changing exponentially. This provides the biggest opportunities but also the biggest challenges. Currently, very few law firms are really listening to their clients and doing this in a way that is client centric.
LFMS: What do you consider to be the key buzzword in law firm marketing and business developments, and do you think that it deserves the hype?
CM: Innovation. Yes and no. It’s often misunderstood and there’s a focus on the tools of innovation rather than the thought processes of innovation. I would single out a greater need for creative thinking and truly understanding issues and the holistic view of how these have developed.
LFMS: When you’re looking at other professional service firms, is there any single innovation that you think law firms should be emulating?
CM: More proactive and less reactive activities. Greater understanding of and use of non lawyers to drive their businesses forward.
LFMS: With more millennials on client panels, do law firm business development and marketing teams need to adapt their approach for the new generation of clients?
CM: Yes, the new generation of general counsel view their roles in a very different way. Law firms need to understand that and ALL their challenges not just the strictly legal ones. Law firms will need to be more creative and collaborative. The transactional view point of BD and marketing, refracted through a ‘we’re the best/ will you hire us’ focus, won’t disappear immediately but increasingly it will be seen as outdated and not fit for purpose.
Catherine McGregor will be leading our panel of General Counsel at the Law Firm Marketing Summit to explore the evolution of the law firm-client relationship. See the agenda HERE.