The non-negotiables for a successful new law firm

Like any other business start-up, new law firms have to get the basics right before focusing on growth and business development. Therefore, having the right practice productivity solution in place is fundamental.

Separate to the fundamental yet obvious decisions to be made when launching one’s own legal practice – including, but not limited to, the name of the firm, office location and practice areas offered for clientele – there are “crucial boxes” that must be considered and ticked off, says LEAP Director of Client Engagement Brooke Limmer.

“New law firms are just like any other business start-up”, she notes.

“Practitioners need to recognise that launching a firm means owning a business, as well as being involved in a profession.”

New firm owners must, she espouses, “get the basics right first” before they think about how best to grow and develop the business. 

Boxes to be ticked

Ms Limmer lists three critical arms to success for those new firm owners: compliance, marketing and well-implemented technology.

With regard to the first, she notes that this is “still very much an essential” factor for firms. 

The non-negotiables for a successful new law firm
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Brooke Limmer

“Having the right professional indemnity insurance and practising certificate to handle trust money are the basics. Having the right processes in place to ensure the practitioner meets its professional obligations is vital,” she says.

— Brooke Limmer

“With the development in technology over the years, starting and operating a firm these days is very different to when I joined a firm as a junior lawyer around 15 years ago. There is amazing practice management software available these days, which not only manage the workflow efficiently but also enable incorporation of automation in documentation and correspondence, and deal with the formalities and legal requirements of trust accounting.” 

“These practice management softwares also offer integration with other applications, such as accounting applications, court platforms, search services and payment and conference applications,” he notes.

This, he believes, has reduced the need to engage and manage different personal to have these tasks undertaken, thus reducing the costs and administrative pressure involved in launching and operating a new firm.

Other reflections

Ultimately, Mr Chhara concludes, “the optimal time to launch a law firm is when you believe you are ready”.

That readiness, however, must include consideration for practice productivity, and how your firm can be on the path to achieving it from the outset.