Michael Guiney

Director of Business Development

R. Michael GuineyLFMS: As Director of Business Development at Kinstellar, what are your key responsibilities?

MG: My role at Kinstellar primarily involves mentoring senior lawyers across our nine jurisdictions on business development. This includes coaching, training as well as creating business development plans for key lawyers and regularly reviewing progress. I also frequently meet key clients, prospects and law firms who are interested in learning more about our firm, our markets and the opportunities they present.

LFMS: When you look at how other professional services sector market their services and build their brands, what do you feel the legal sector should be emulating?

MG: The challenge for any law firm is creating and delivering good engaging content to the right audience via the best channels. The “Big Four” have the necessary resources, knowhow and processes to deliver such campaigns effectively. However, I am encouraged that law firms generally are getting better with firms such as Gateley Plc and Shoosmiths very much at the forefront.

LFMS: At the Law Firm Marketing Summit, you’ll be discussing marketing futures. As a preview to that session, which are the 3 key marketing trends that you feel that the legal sector should be adopting?

MG: The law firm of the future will look nothing like law firms today.

1. Technology: Automation and outsourcing are already revolutionising the legal industry. I believe that as more legal texts are uploaded to a searchable and machine-readable format, most lawyer tasks will become obsolete. In the medium term, artificial intelligence will supplant lawyers for most simple purposes.

Software will eventually disrupt the industry further than it already has. This will result in fewer lawyers, greater pressure on fees and the majority of lawyers working harder for less.

2. Emergence of boutique firms (Big is not always best): Every day we read about a new law firm merger, some of which will struggle to succeed given the consistency of service/quality and general lack of collaboration. I expect to see the emergence of high quality boutique firms with a strong market focus and an innovative approach to client service and delivery.

3. Putting Marketing/BD professionals on boards of firms: Increasing recognition that BD/marketing professionals (and business services generally) are important to the future growth, management and success of firms. Such professionals will become more influential within their firms, achieve Partner status and will be appointed to their respective firm’s board.

LFMS: What tips do you have for fellow marketing and business development professionals in the legal sector in terms of how to engage their firms in the business development challenge?

MG: Focus on a few good lawyers who fully understand your role and the value that you can offer and are willing to be supported. They will be your advocates internally. Finally, never take criticism personally. Tomorrow is a new day and a new challenge.

LFMS: Why do you feel the time is right for this inaugural Law Firm Marketing Summit to take place in London/Europe?

MG: The timing is right – we are living in unprecedented times (Brexit, global economic uncertainty, security concerns) as well as the threat from new market entrants and technology as a disruptor. Lawyers do not like uncertainty. This is a great opportunity for BD/marketing professionals to come together to share experiences and understand that uncertainty creates opportunities.

LFMS: Looking at the agenda for the Law Firm Marketing Summit, which sessions [apart from your own of course] are you most looking forward to?

MG: They are all very good and relevant sessions. I’m particularly looking forward to the session on gamification. It will appeal to the competitive nature of a lawyer and if used correctly can be an effective tool for change.

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