find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Clients want competent lawyers and convenient service

Clients want competent lawyers and convenient service

The search for responsive, focused legal services is the same for clients across the board, the managing partner of a Sydney firm has said.

Sydney lawyer Rolf Howard believes the cornerstone of business success in law is competence. It might seem like an obvious statement but the managing partner of Owen Hodge Lawyers considers it to be a fundamental measure of competitiveness in the small to medium-sized firm market.

“Clients want us to be right – they expect us to be right. And most of us are most of the time, but it’s not what sets us apart. It’s how we meet the needs and wants of clients, how we meet their convenience.

“People are looking for lawyers who are service-focused, who provide a good, responsive service and [meet] their needs as consumers, or [are] responsive as business operators,” Mr Howard said.

Established in 1951, Owen Hodge today employs over 20 solicitors and has grown its presence beyond Sydney and Hurstville to also service clients in Wollongong. It also has exposure in the Burwood area following a recent merger with Walker Kissane & Plummer.

The firm practises in wills and estates, family, commercial and business law, and services a diverse range of clients. When asked about the business strategy to remain competitive in these areas, Mr Howard indicated a back-to-basics approach, that is not only concerned with the needs of clients but also how to improve the convenience available to them.

“I think that what clients are looking for, at what might be described for simplicity as ‘the lower end of the market’ as opposed to ‘the higher end’, fundamentally is pretty much all the same.

“You have to identify who your client is and what are their basic characteristics, and that’s the person that you are aiming your marketing promotion and activities at,” Mr Howard said.

He observed that being able to cater to “time-poor” clients is an important skill for modern lawyers.

“People are very aware of their time and so being able to reduce the time cost for everybody is very important. It’s not just lawyers that are time-poor. It’s very much clients generally,” Mr Howard said.

Mr Howard has practised with Owen Hodge for more than 25 years. In his view, a culture of fostering young talent has driven business growth from the time he joined the firm, in the early 90s.

Absorbing experience and passing it on to junior practitioners was a key benefit of merging with other small firms, he said.

“The driving partners of the firm have provided a stability which is now reflected in a firm foundation upon which younger people are able to grow in their careers. As a partnership team, we see ourselves as that foundation of helping each other grow,” Mr Howard said.

As part of a merger this month, two accredited specialists have joined Owen Hodge Lawyers. Michael Kissane and Chris Plummer are family and business law specialists respectively. They join the firm from Walker Kissane & Plummer, which was founded by former NSW attorney-general Frank Walker over 40 years ago.

Mr Kissane will be retained as a consultant for the firm and Mr Plummer, a registered tax agent and chartered tax adviser, joins the business law team at Owen Hodge.

“Both senior guys are accredited specialists. They are skilled and experienced lawyers, and the younger team that we have benefits from their skills,” Mr Howard said.

“We are very excited to welcome [them] into our firm.”

Michael Kissane of Owen Hodge LawyersChris Plummer of Owen Hodge Lawyers

 L-R: Michael Kissane and Chris Plummer have joined Owen Hodge Lawyers.

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

Clients want competent lawyers and convenient service
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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 & ...