60 Second Interview: Richard Macklin

Richard Macklin, Global Vice Chair, Global Client Partner


Is business development on the periphery in the minds of most lawyers? Should it be? Ahead of the Law Firm Marketing Summit we asked Richard Macklin, Global Vice Chair and Global Client partner and Dentons to shared some insight with with us on his inspirations and how to integrate BD into an existing workload.

LFMS: Who in the legal sector outside your law firm has most inspired you?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


LFMS: What is your favourite book, blog or podcast on business and/or marketing strategy? 

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.


LFMS: How confident are you about the legal profession’s future? Why?   

Very – we’re learned to adapt fast  post the Lehman crisis and we will do it again – COVID is a great catalyst for the next wave and I think we’re up for it.


LFMS: What are your three business development tips for young lawyers starting out their career

  1. Get into the office (or start work at home) twice a week one hour earlier than you otherwise would – do it without fail every week – use it like a morning work-out, where you focus solely on BD – focus on your peers in client businesses, read books/watch podcasts etc. on growing business, read up on the market. It’s never too early to start.
  2. Insist on getting taken along to pitches with the partners – after all you’re the one who’ll be doing the work!  And clients really want to see the team they’ll really be interacting with.
  3. Treat BD just the same as legal work.  Good BD is tough, needs real attention to detail – and when done well, intellectually stimulating.  Never the copy partners into saying you’re too busy to do BD.  You will be fair more successful if you develop a real flair for growing a successful practice.  And remember it’s not taking clients to the pub, dinner or rugby.  It’s a subtle game – of being genuinely helpful and becoming trusted.  The trick is to sell without selling.


LFMS: In the long term, what permanent impact will Covid-19 have on law firm business development?

Not much in reality – we were already communicating with our clients virtually most of the time.


Richard Macklin will be speaking on ‘Building your business during a crisis‘ at the 2020 Law Firm Marketing Summit. See the agenda here.

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