Law firms are facing unprecedented competitive pressures

The Economist outlined in a 2011 article how the global legal profession in recent years has undergone not only recession, but structural change.  And that as a result of these changes, law firm profits – and even survival – are under threat from a blisteringly competitive legal market.

Law firm revenue is one vital ingredient to law firm success

It’s in this climate that law firms must pay particularly close attention to every minute detail about how they are attracting and retaining clients – as consistent revenue is an absolute necessity if firms are to both survive and thrive in hyper-competitive legal markets throughout the world.

Law firms are exposed to a stream of information about what to do

Law firm managing partners, when seeking guidance on how best to generate revenue for their firms, face a continuous stream of advice from legal publications, bloggers and all manner of professionals seeking to advise them on how best to achieve revenue growth.  This glut of information sometimes leads firm managing partners to hesitate to take action – but it doesn’t need to – and frankly shouldn’t – given the competitive pressures they face today.

Law firms need expert insight to craft optimal revenue generation plans

Before any law firm managing partner makes the decision to embark upon any new initiative aimed at generating more clients and more revenue for his or her firm — a thorough and dispassionate audit of all current activities should be done first.  And this audit should be conducted by a professional with comprehensive, first-hand experience of every aspect of the legal business development process – from the identification of new potential clients all the way through to the engagement of those clients.  This process involves everything from research to prospecting to client pitches and negotiation of terms of engagement and complex proposal writing.  The new business development process is at times supported by marketing and social media efforts – but those efforts must be done with a high-degree of precision for them to be an effective support to the overall firm goal of efficient, regular generation of new revenue.

An effective audit will analyze numerous key drivers of law firm revenue

A law firm business development audit will involve a comprehensive analysis of every aspect of a law firm’s business development efforts – and seek to answer fundamental questions including what a firm is doing now, what they might consider doing in the future – and how they might optimize staff and other resources to create a highly efficient and effective effort that will yield maximum results going forward.   This process, properly done, will involve an analysis of potentially hundreds of key drivers of law firm revenue.

Craft a new business development plan (or alter an existing one) via informed, expert analysis

Once questions are answered about what a firm is doing presently, informed recommendations can be made based on what best practices are being used in legal business development today.  A well-constructed plan will help a firm to more efficiently and effectively generate new revenue – while saving money and optimizing current efforts.  Importantly, any plan can and should be custom-tailored to the goals and culture of each firm.  With a new plan in place, firms can move forward knowing their business development efforts have been expertly analyzed and any new plan is tailored ideally to their unique desires and goals.  With a business development audit in hand, a law firm can know it’s done everything possible to lay the groundwork for a very successful future underpinned by superior revenue generation efforts.


Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal. An independent writer & editor, he's the author of: A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets (Ark Group 2014).

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