Case studies: Strategy, Marketing and Business Development at law and accounting firms

At training workshops, people often ask me for case studies of successful marketing and business development strategies and campaigns at professional services firms. Both to support their competitor analysis and to see what good strategies and campaigns look like. I scour publications and awards to pick up as many as I can. Here I summarise brand, referrals, research, key account management (KAM) and new service development case studies. At law firms: Addleshaw Goddard, Collas Crill, LawNet, Ontier, Schillings and accountancy firms: Menzies, Mercer and Hole. Case studies: Marketing and Business Development at law and accounting firms. 

Addleshaw Goddard (lawyers) – Brand campaign

An article in Marketing Week reports that the firm never ran a brand campaign pre-2021. Prior to 2019 there were no marketing analytics in place. The firm had never worked with a creative agency or run a digital marketing campaign. Some competitors enjoyed 2.5 times higher awareness – others were five times bigger in revenue and team size.

The new brand promise is “More imagination, More Impact”. Over two years the 25-person marketing team introduced market research, marketing planning and analytics.

There were launches of new products and multilingual operations in five overseas markets.

Over past two years, firm enjoyed 25.3% increase in search traffic, attracting 16% more new visitors to its web site.

The first B2B thought leadership campaign “Poets” achieved 3.2m impressions among 370,000 business people. The campaign generated a 25% increase in search traffic, record engagement and press interest. There was a 6,500% increase in readership compared to the previous content.

National press coverage rose 300% in 2022. LinkedIn followers grew by 71% with engagement rates up 79%. And click-through rose by 118%

They won the 2023 Marketing Week award for “Marketing Team of the Year”.

How a team rethink helped one brand go global ( January 2023

Ontier (offshore law firm) – Rebrand for growth and innovation

This UK headquartered offshore firm has 13 worldwide offices and is the largest law firm in Latin America. In September the firm was named as the winner of “Innovation in People Management” at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2023 in London.

The core of the new brand revolves round the concept of flexible unity and adaptability – reinforcing the firm’s transition towards becoming a single, cohesive entity.

It worked with Tatil Design creative agency Tatil Home En – Tátil Design to introduce a new brand identity inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. It retains the teal colour but incorporates movement to capture energy, flexibility and disruptive spirit at the firm.

It will be rolled out across physical offices, marketing materials and digital channels from 25 October

Ontier rebrands to reflect commitment to growth and innovation – PSM The Professionals ( October 2023

Mercer and Hole accountants – Brand campaigns and referrals

There are three strategic pillars to the firm’s strategy – Brand, PR and profile. Differentiating the firm and finding a value fit with clients were priorities. The firm focuses on small firms going through high growth and addresses larger firms’ price increases.

The 24 partner and four office firm is served by a marketing team of four and external agencies. The external agencies help guard against the team becoming too insular.

Brand and profile development

The pandemic was a period of creativity and innovation for the firm. This was followed by a series of brand strategy days where five-year plans were developed.

Authenticity is a brand value that differentiates the firm’s personality. One in 11 members of staff volunteered to be involved in a recruitment campaign on culture which shows a high level of engagement. Videos featured 20 staff talking about “Sunday night”. One video includes children of the firm’s partners and staff talking about what their parents do.

Managers had always been involved in PR even though they were not always as polished as partners. So media training was provided and resulted in regular quotes in the Financial Times.

There was an advertising campaign in The Times. And a social media brand campaign on the theme “Some things just go together” (e.g. Like tea and biscuits).

The firm’s annual Christmas party, hosted at striking venues such as The Corinthia Hotel, attracts 200 guests.


Marketing programmes are tailored to the needs of different office markets.  For example, Google searches are optimised especially for the London office.

Outside of London (Rickmansworth, Milton Keynes and St Albans) campaigns are developed with local lawyers, barristers, industries and regional chambers of commerce.

The media coverage showed referral network that the firm was punching above its weight.

PM Magazine September/October 2023 Authenticity in marketing and business development (

Menzies accountants – Brand research and referrers

The firm experienced fast growth following its “Brighter thinking” positioning statement in 2016. This is now embedded in culture and service delivery.

There is a sector-based go-to-market strategy – allowing the firm to attract larger and more complex clients.

A 360 brand audit was conducted to supplement client and pitch feedback. It asked four questions:

  1. How well is Menzies known by larger SMEs?
  2. What does the target market want from a PSF?
  3. Does Menzies current offering fit these expectations?
  4. How do targets go about the process of selection?

The firm used independent researcher Flare Insight Enhancing brand presence – Flare Insight to conduct quantitative research without revealing Menzies as the project owner.

This was supported by research interviews with referrers to learn why they referred new and repeat business. New clients were asked why they choose the firm and whether it met expectations. Some warm contacts were also interviewed. The interviews added colour and gave the opportunity to deep dive into target and referrer motivators.

They found data from referrers to be a gold mine. These interviewees typically refer to a host of firms and so have a uniue insight into the “good, bad and ugly” allowing competitor analysis.

Both survey and interviews were compiled into a report which was presented at a partner conference with themes for break outs. All ideas were then incorporated into a project plan with four sub-projects: referral management, service delivery, internal mindset and development of larger SME segment.

PM Magazine September/October 2023 Menzies: understanding brand presence (

LawNet – Research and referrers

The network produces client-focused and emotional content around the Four Es – Experience, Exchange, Everyplace and Evangelism.

For example, on client experience (CX) the focus is on:

  • Whole client journey and every touchpoint
  • ISO standard (LawNet excellence)
  • 8,500 client experience reviews over past 10 years
  • 100,000 online satisfaction surveys over past 10 years where the average performance score of 52% in first year of the project increased to 77% in 2022/23

It is developing smaller and special-interest activities to encourage involvement and facilitate relationship building between firms.

They mention the example of a curry night for group of referrers and clients.

They use recordings of CX interviews to identify gaps and produce crib sheets for future client and referrer conversations.

PM Magazine September/October 2023 Writing a new language of love is the route to happy clients (

Collas Crill (offshore law firm) – Client research and Key Account Management (KAM)

Collas Crill identified a need to focus on their major clients and work towards building a Key Account Programme. The long-term objective was to ensure the firm continues to grow in the right way, with client satisfaction matching their own internal values and expectations.

They wanted to identify the right clients across several offices and practice areas for this core approach and then plan for those behaviours to be mirrored across the firm and all clients.

Their process:

  • Ran workshops with partners to help select nine key accounts (with a client listening expert)
  • Debated the ideal questions with partners, having agreed the most important areas of focus
  • Set up 14 Zoom client listening interviews across the accounts, to get to the heart of the existing relationship
  • Delivered full transcripts of each call, having pre-approved them with the client
  • Provided immediate feedback on quick wins
  • Presented detailed analysis (with quantitative comparisons to highlight focus themes, as well as qualitative verbatims)
  • Built upon this intelligence to make suggestions for an effective KAM programme as the next step

The feedback identified many positives for the firm including a number of immediate opportunities to strengthen relationships. It also helped capture what is most important to clients, what differentiates Collas Crill and potential areas for development.

“The client listening exercise was a huge success and laid a very good foundation for our key account management programme. Our clients very much enjoyed speaking to the researcher and she managed the process with diplomacy and aplomb, providing us with solid and frank feedback from clients”. Andrea Goodman, Business Development Manager, Collas Crill

Helping an offshore law firm better understand their client needs | The BD Consultancy

Schillings law – New service development

Developing innovative new services in the legal space can be challenging. Especially if the new service is beyond the traditional confines of a law firm. But in September 2023, Schillings – Privacy, Reputation & Security Experts ( announced that it will launch a new multidisciplinary service (in a new company) in January 2024.

Two of Britain’s leading communication specialists are to build a brand-new specialist reputation consultancy. The first of its kind in the market – a multidisciplinary legal, intelligence, investigations, security, strategy and communications service – all under one roof.

Schillings launches new strategic communications business – Schillings (

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