“Practical ideas to increase profitability. The training re-energised the team. Great investment.”

Massive increase in profits

As a result of working initially with the Conveyancing team at a London-based law firm, specialist advisers Legal Mentors was asked to conduct a ‘mystery shopping’ exercise across all other departments.

The Managing Partner was concerned that the firm was failing to convert as many opportunities as he would like or expect given their business development spend. The result of the ‘mystery shopping’ exercise was to confirm that with little or no specific training on how to handle incoming new enquiries, their approach was at best variable and they were guilty of leaking opportunities to generate the additional fees that were potentially within their grasp.

We discussed the situation with the partners and it was agreed that the whole firm of some 40+ solicitors and trainees needed to be properly trained in how to handle new enquiries more effectively.

The workshops were custom-built around delegates’ specific areas of law to include presentations, discussions and role plays designed to help delegates practice their new skills, which we find is an absolute ‘must’ in achieving effective outcomes.

Winning new instructions starts with dealing professionally with the initial incoming call, the opportunity is there to be developed, or be lost! Firms need to establish a proper process, so the programme of training commenced with reception and support staff. Solicitors and fee-earners then attended departmental bespoke half-day sessions. 

Feedback was very positive and delegates, who each now had their own agreed action plan, had a good deal of fun practising their new-found skills in how to help the prospective client to choose to instruct them rather than a competitor firm.

The investment in both time and cost was recouped within weeks, not only by an increase in their enquiry-to-conversion rates per individual/team but also in winning more of the high-value instructions they wanted, leading to a significant improvement in profitability. Our client now has a fully documented procedure for handling enquiries which is used to show new staff members how the firm handles new enquiries from reception right through to instruction, including how to handle objections such as pricing.

When A L, Partner and Head of Marketing, was asked: “What impact has the Legal Mentors’ training had across the firm.” He said:

“Massive. We quickly recouped the cost of training and nine months on we continue to see a return on investment which is many multiples of the cost. As well as increasing significantly the firm’s bottom line, the training showed a commitment to our staff which has been great for morale."

“Great training. Very well presented. Very useful and helpful to develop and increase conversions.”

Successful succession planning

A long-established two-office firm was suddenly confronted with a succession issue. Of the three Partners, one had announced that they would be retiring at the end of the firm’s trading year in approximately eighteen months time and then unexpectedly another Partner advised that they too wished to retire at the same time, some seven years earlier than anticipated.

This would leave one younger but dynamic Partner confronted with repaying more than £300,000 of capital. Naturally the remaining Partner was concerned about cash-flow and the immediate future for the business. Legal Mentors were brought in to facilitate a planning session to seek a way forward.

There was clearly tension, the Partner due to retire felt that their plans had been undermined by the unexpected announcement of the second Partner, who was actually the Managing Partner. 

It was clear that the Practice was not in a position financially to repay capital to both retirees simultaneously in eighteen months time. The Managing Partner suggested they look at ‘Plan B’ – “a sale of the business”. We suggested that in the current market and position of the business that ‘Plan B’ was not a realistic option and the best the business could realistically do was to repay both Partners their capital over an extended period of years, provided the sole remaining Partner could see a sustainable and successful longer-term future for both the business and their personal position too.

We then spent the rest of the day putting together a Plan for the transition of the business. With effect from the new trading year some 5 months hence it was agreed:

  • The firm’s Accountants would be consulted and asked to prepare to transfer the business to a corporate structure trading as a limited company which was tax efficient for both the business and the retiring Partners. Goodwill was capitalised as Directors Loans
  • The younger partner would be appointed Managing Partner
  • At the end of the next trading year one Partner would retire as originally envisaged. The second Partner would become a consultant and the new Managing Partner would become the sole equity shareholder

During the transition we worked with the Directors, interviewed new senior staff with a view to them becoming non-equity Directors and co-ran a half-day to announce to the staff the Plan for succession and outline the future for the business.

Outcome: The firm is now operating as a Limited Company with the Managing Director owning 100% of the equity. One partner has retired as planned, the second continues to work as a consultant, both being repaid their Directors Loans tax efficiently over a seven year period. The firm has acquired another Practice, appointed other non-equity Directors and gone from strength to strength with a new emphasis on more profitable services. One office has closed and a new office opened in a more affluent nearby city.

I owe Legal Mentors a debt of gratitude for all the guidance and encouragement in taking the business forward. Hard to believe how far it has moved on in such a short time!”

More client testimonials

"I am inspired to put into practice new ideas when speaking with prospective clients.”

Susanne Hamilton – Jacklyn Dawson Solicitors

“The training gave considerable insight into how we can win more new business.”

Michael Lane, Partner – Jacklyn Dawson Solicitors

“Very enjoyable. Learned a number of tips that will help me convert more enquiries into new instructions.” 

Katie Russell, Solicitor – Pickering & Butters Solicitors

“Team now understands the need to ensure business is not won simply on price but in the value of the work we do.”

Lisa Wills and Liz Knott, Directors - John M Lewis Ltd

“Knowledgeable, approachable and very friendly. Would recommend their services as they have given me food for thought.”

Daniela McDonough - Seth Lovis Co Ltd

“The training has given us the confidence to charge what we are really worth.”

Cyril Arridge, Managing Partner - QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright

"As a result of Legal Mentors input we are confident we will win even more instructions and significantly improve our revenues.”

Angelo Piccirillo, Director - A V Rillo

“The team is now confident in selling our services as adding value to our clients."  

Raymond Hayes, Solicitor & Chairman - Bartons Solicitors

"The training has re-energised the team. Great investment, thank you.” 

Robert Alcock, Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing - Chattertons Solicitors

“I will implement these key points along with other points raised with immediate effect.”

Simon Dobson - Moss Haselhurst Solicitors

"I would recommend Legal Mentors to all solicitors wanting to grow their business.”

Jonathan Tyler - Seth Lovis Solicitors

"Lots of common sense and easy-to-implement ideas! Good reminder of our self-worth as a Firm.”

Kristy Giles - Bartons Solicitors

“If you are interested in looking after your clients and your firm, you should attend this Course”

“Legal Mentors taught us for the first time to close the sale during the initial enquiry, and successfully win the work before the end of the call.”

Daryl Griffiths, Practice Manager - Burnett Barker Solicitors

“Full of useful and practical ideas which I can start implementing immediately.”

Andrew Raistrick, Head of Conveyancing - Christopher Davidson Solicitors

“Good ideas to improve conversion rates for conveyancing work.”

John Baden-Daintree, Head of Legal Services - QualitySolicitors 

“Great tips: I will take away and use straightaway.”

Tim Higham, Partner, Residential Property - Trethowans

“I owe Legal Mentors a debt of gratitude for all the guidance and encouragement in taking the business forward. Hard to believe how far it has moved on in such a short time!”

Partner - Oxfordshire law firm

“We are very impressed with Legal Mentors’ Client Care Workshop, and particularly pleased with how everyone in the firm – all levels of fee earner and support staff – has been involved and inspired."

Family law business - East London

“Excellent, really got me thinking about how to win new business and add value to the service.”