DESPITE THE firm recently winning two BRW Client Choice Awards, Allens Arthur Robinson chief executive Tom Poulton is modest about the achievement.
“It shows the power of not being arrogant, of gathering client feedback and then sitting down to consider how we can do it better next time,” Poulton said.
Allens carried off the awards for best large firm and best large professional services firm of the year.
Not only that, but the firm’s Queensland office won the award for best state firm.
Client service is to be valued above all else, Poulton said. Not that this is a new stance for the man who was quoted famously last year as saying his lawyers had to “treat clients as gods”.
“Self-sacrifice” from his firm’s lawyers is what clients expect as the status quo.
To this end, the recruitment process is of paramount importance to Allens, Poulton said. A focus on “people with superb technical skills” has resulted in a steady rise in revenue for the firm.
“It's a highly competitive market, but I think we genuinely worked smarter this year and provided better client service than last year,” he said.
This affirms Poulton’s belief that “we are not cheap but are great value for money”.
Poulton sees innovation as necessary at some point in the future, especially in regards to time billing. Again, it is from the client’s perspective that he bases his stance: “I get the feeling that although clients say they would love something other than time billing, they actually see a lot of protection in it,” he said.