find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Lawyers fall behind on business development

Lawyers fall behind on business development

Andrew Barnes, ALPMA

The results of a recent survey have shown that Australasian law firms are not maximising their business development opportunities.

The 2015 ALPMA/JMA: Winning Work in A Digital World report by the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and Julian Midwinter & Associates revealed that lawyers are failing to keep pace with business development techniques.

ALPMA president Andrew Barnes (pictured) said: “It is clear that few Australasian law firms are firing on all cylinders from a business development perspective. They have lost sight of the need to refine and improve their lawyers’ baseline skills and their firm’s performance in this area.”

He continued: “Despite all the changes that are happening, it’s still a very traditional profession where they still think that the personal relationships, personal introductions and referral networks count for something.”

Of the 153 law firms across Australia and New Zealand that responded to the survey, 47 per cent rated their firm’s business development and marketing capability as ‘under-developed’.

A total of 56 per cent said they don’t provide marketing and business development training for their lawyers, 58 per cent don’t have a systematic approach to tracking and managing prospective client data and 44 per cent don’t have a firm-wide marketing and business development plan.

“Despite openly acknowledging their weaknesses in this area, most law firms continue to resist building the overall marketing and business development capability of their lawyers and firms,” Mr Barnes said.

“Those that have challenged the old ways are starting to make waves in the profession, but there are still so many who are getting by without having to do much different, so until they're forced to change, change is slow.”

The research found that most firms still focus their energy on traditional business generation techniques.

The most effective forms of generating new business enquiries were referral networks and personal relationships for 70 per cent of Australasian law firms, followed by client relationship management strategies (34 per cent) and firm seminars (30 per cent).

“I suspect these ratings reflect a legacy view. Potential clients for generations have preferred to buy legal services from people they know or firms that are recommended to them by people they trust,” Mr Barnes said.

“As the generations of purchasers or buyers of legal services change, they don’t necessarily rely on referrals through somebody that they know, they'll take a good reference online from somebody they don’t know.”

Julian Midwinter & Associates partner Amy Burton-Bradley said firms need to work on their digital presence to generate more new business.

“Law firms wanting to generate leads online and reassure potential clients who are shopping around that they are a great choice, should focus on improving their website content and amplifying that content through social media,” Ms Burton-Bradley said.

“By having a content-rich website, with regularly updated material, you can stay top of legal consumers’ minds in what is a long and complex sales cycle.”

Ms Burton-Bradley said because so few Australasian firms are doing well online, those that do can use it as a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017


Lawyers fall behind on business development
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...