Interview with Rob Booth, General Counsel & Company Secretary, The Crown Estates
We caught up with Rob Booth, General Counsel & Company Secretary at The Crown Estates, to discover his take on some of the key themes that will be covered at the Law Firm Marketing Summit.
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?
RB: None of us is as smart as all of us. Attending conferences that unite to draw collective thought are a no-brainer on that basis alone.
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?
RB: Use the current profitability buffer as a chance to really dig into client value creation and holistic business operation. There is a wealth of opportunity in that space and also a huge amount of analogous business science to lower the hurdle to adoption. Doing it before that buffer is eroded by new business models and industry disruption, would seem to be a smart move.
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?
RB: At the moment, collaboration is the go-to term. Done properly, collaboration is super-compelling – but people do seem to have lost their way on what it actually means- which has sadly diluted a really powerful concept.
LFMS: When you’re looking at other professional service firms, is there any single innovation that you think law firms should be emulating?
RB: We need to draw a distinction between an innovative idea (which has value) and embracing concepts that drive long term innovation and foster creativity. I have the privilege to talk to lots of businesses who do the latter – and really focusing on innovation systems, collaboration and corporate architecture would be the root cause approach to meaningful change. Other sectors, professional services or otherwise, do seem to be ahead of the legal industry curve on embracing that.
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?
RB: As a General Counsel who is a millennial (just) – I would advocate a few trends that appear here. One is to be more fluid in partnering and drawing in expertise from outside. Another is to think about wellbeing not as a profit haircut, but instead as a medium to get the very best out of people. And perhaps lastly, recognise the dawning realisation that millennials are really no different to any other generation – and embrace them rather than worrying about them.
LFMS: Is there a space for law firms on social media? Why?
RB: I think there absolutely is a place for firms on social media – partly to inform the debate in our defence of the rule of law, and partly to enrich content by bringing another perspective. I would say though, that it is currently a pretty ineffective way of marketing law firm services, which I think is in part driven by a failure to fully embrace the medium.
Rob will be speaking as part of our panel of GCs at the Law Firm Marketing Summit. See the agenda HERE.