The Law Management Section aims to help members achieve best practice, by providing support from practice management experts including managing partners and legal consultants.
The Section says that this guide to business development, running to just over 120 pages, offers practical advice on how firms can use business development tools and techniques to drive growth and profitability. Expert authors give valuable insight into how to gain new clients and develop new business from existing clients, it adds. It is right on both counts.
The preface admits that the book does not aim to be a comprehensive overview of all aspects of development. Nevertheless, it is pithy, wide-ranging and useful.
Sure, we have all read about client care. It helps to remind ourselves that this is what matters. As chapter authors Fiona Westwood and Vicky Ling say, around 75% of the perceived value of legal work comes from service delivery.
General editors: Andrew Otterburn, Nigel Haddon
Publisher: Law Society Publishing (£69.95)
As well as the sort of topics one might expect to feature, such as branding, client relationship management, planning and budgeting, there are also some less common ones. Sue Stapely contributes a chapter on reputation management, certainly not to be skipped, with a suitably worrying paragraph headed: ‘Things that can go wrong’.
Competitive tendering is covered in a clear and accessible manner. Social media is addressed by Kevin Poulter. Even the most savvy of the ‘Twitterati’ can learn from him.
The editors, both leading management consultants to the legal profession, Andrew Otterburn and Nigel Haddon, need no introduction. In this handy A4 publication they have managed to collect highly valuable guidance on topics which any law firm might be able to access quickly and effectively.
Moreover, this is not just a book aimed at medium-sized and large law firms. There is a dedicated section on smaller practices too, dealing with managing limited resources and getting the basics right.
Tony Roe is principal of Tony Roe Divorce & Family Law Solicitors and also a member of the Law Society’s Small Firms Division committee