Director of Business Development
LFMS: What three industry trends are impacting the industry the most and how are they changing the role of marketers and business development professionals within law firms?
Technology: Given client pressure to improve efficiency and decrease costs – bigger firms will continue to invest in the likes of AI. This will have an impact on the recruitment levels of trainee and junior lawyers as some of their tasks will be automated. What will this mean for the next generation of lawyers? Will there be enough talent coming through?
Multi-generational workforce: Now we are witnessing four generations working in the same work environment which presents workforce dynamics and challenges. The older generation works hard and puts clients first. Younger generations want to get the work-life balance right which generally leads to friction. Marketing/BD professionals will have to be better and more creative in engaging the younger generation who understand the value of business development but reluctant to adopt enthusiastically as time-consuming and taking time away from other priorities.
Globalisation: Firms continue to expand across borders with the view that bigger is better. This is resulting in mergers and acquisitions. The natural consequence is consolidation across marketing teams’ and a lack of roles for senior marketing/BD professionals, who may leave the legal sector and seek opportunities elsewhere
LFMS: Is there a key factor that helps marketers and business development professionals build a better relationship with law firm partners? Or, how can law firm partners empower their BD and marketing teams?
Marketing/Business Development will always sell the entire firm, partners will sell what they know; their practice. It is essential that more marketing people become client facing as we are able to promote the entire firm as well as better in following up on discussions and making things happen. When partners see marketing/business development in action at client meetings, they will trust them more and we will be viewed “as partners to the partners”
LFMS: How is the law firm – client relationship changing?
It is changing rapidly – London, Europe and elsewhere is full of top quality, well-educated and responsive lawyers. Competition is tough. Clients want lawyers to bring them opportunities to invest in or provide pragmatic commercial solutions. Lawyers are business people first and lawyers second.
LFMS: What would be your single most important tip for winning at pitches?
Before submitting the pitch – talk to the client and find out the competition, decision makers, their views on team composition, fees etc. – such information will make a difference to your “pitch story” while also demonstrating to the client that you are driven and “hungry” for their business.
LFMS: What lessons should law firms be heeding from GCs and the approach they are now taking to buying legal services?
In my view, GCs are less loyal to any one firm/lawyers. They will have multiple law firm relationships and lawyers will continually need to be proactive and work hard to stay front of mind in order to be considered for the next piece of work.
LFMS: Looking at the agenda for the Law Firm Marketing Summit, which sessions are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the Building consensus, generating engagement and driving change as important to understand and learn from other industries and their application to our sector.