Staying competitive as a solicitor

Writing a blog post about staying competitive as a solicitor would have been unthinkable 15 years ago. However, the days when a law firm could charge a fee without question are long gone. 
 
The last few years have seen: 
 
• increased competition from high street brands such as the Co-op
• alternative business structures offer new ways of running law firms
• reduced demand for legal services
• greater powers for clients to challenge service both online and through the legal ombudsman.
 
The result is a gradual a shift from client to consumer, something that has been on the cards for some time. In 2012, Adam Sampson, the chief legal ombudsman, said:  "In most businesses, the customer holds sway and can pick and choose which services to buy from which provider. This type of relationship is increasingly the norm even in the legal sector."
 

Staying competitive

 
Against this backdrop how can you stay competitive?
The good news is that it's not just a problem for small law firms. All professional services, including accountants, face similar challenges.  Here are some of the lessons we have learned:
 
1. A clear pricing structure is not enough. You also need to demonstrate what clients get for their money.
 
2. No one likes surprises. Letting clients know when extra costs will be involved and, most importantly, the     reasons why will help foster trust.
 
3. Review your internal processes to save money. For example, can paralegals or associates take on more responsibility?
 
4. Look for opportunities to grow. This could be taking on a new partner (perhaps one who is a current competitor) or targeting new clients.
 
5. Exploit your niche. What do you offer that is different to the bigger firms? In our experiences, clients value consistent, quality services – something big firms struggle with.
 

Get in touch

 
We have longstanding relationships with many law firms and help with a range of accounting issues including:
 
• SRA Accounts Rules 2011
• accounts and audit
• tax compliance and returns
• partner and partnership tax returns.
 

Call Andy Hill or Mike Ogilvie on 01323 720555 to discuss how we can help you.

 

Get in touch for a free Consultation Today

Find out more