Private client lawyers

I recently attended The Law Society’s Law Management Section conference (#LMSConf2017 There were lots of excellent presentations and this blog (one of three) summarises the information relating to legal marketing case studies.

The Law Society

At the start of the conference Robert Bourns, President of The Law Society, mentioned that The Law Society’s campaign to raise awareness of the value of the “solicitor” brand had reached 30 million people through transport, poster and other advertising, It also achieved 20,500 engagements on social media.

Digital marketing statistics

Melissa Davies of @mdcomms shared statistics on digital marketing strategies in law firms:

  • At eight seconds, humans now have a shorter attention span than gold fish
  • 61% of people check their phone when they first wake
  • Digital permeates most marketing for 70% of firms
  • Just 61% of marketers believe their marketing strategy is effective (Hubspot)
  • 2016 law firm marketing spend was 4% of revenue (PWC) – compared to other sectors where the figure is 5%- 50% of revenue
  • 94% of search engine clicks are organic search results (Group M)
  • 97% of law firm websites fail to deliver personalised content (Legal Productivity)
  • Nearly 80% of companies not meeting their revenue goals attract 10,000 monthly web site visitors or less whereas for those exceeding their revenue goals, 70% report attracting more than 10,000 visitors per month (Hubspot)
  • 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine (Google)
  • Companies blogging 11+ pcm received more than four times as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times pcm (Hubspot)

She referred to some law firm research her firm had completed where it was found that Clifford Chance had a lower Klout score than Stephens Scown.

Her model for building a digital strategy comprised the following steps:

  1. Audit – where are we now?
  2. Audience – Who are we marketing to?
  3. Objectives – Where are we going?
  4. Plan – How are we going to get there?
  5. Monitor – Metrics, monitoring, reviewing and updating

Wollen Michelmore legal marketing case studies

She then invited Clive Meredith, practice director of Wollen Michelmore LLP (a private client based practice in Devon  ) to describe the marketing journey and activity at his firm where the strapline is “The Devon law people for people in Devon”. It was highly recommended in The Law Society Management Excellence Awards. The Wollen Michelmore digital marketing strategy has the following components:

  • Web site
  • SEO content
  • Social media – There were success stories for infographics on topics such as will writing tips (and less success with infographics on divorces) and Facebook posts relating to staff community engagement projects as well as banana photos (15,000 engaged with this story) and 28,000 people engaged with the Facebook content overall
  • Branding – Activities to position, manage perception and focus the visual identity
  • PPC – Used an external specialist to help in this area on a Parents Accused campaign. Clicks for “medical negligence” were too general and cost £32 whereas clicks for a specific type of surgical error were 25p. A £2,500 monthly budget generated up to four cases a month valued at £20,000-330,000 each.
  • Advertising – Radio advertisements and podcasts extolling the virtues of Devon and the firm’s love of the area were highly successful and a video was produced for the web site
  • Campaigns – Specialist focus on thought leadership topics such as “Parents Accused” though web content and newsletters


There was also a speaker who was the former managing partner from Darbys talking about the dangers of growth – and managing change – having been the fastest growing law firm at one point. The managing partner said that some of the successes included:

  • The practice management system texting clients every two weeks asking “How are we doing?”
  • The managing partner occasionally calling clients to assess their satisfaction with the service and to see if they had suggestions for improving service
  • The value of pricing and price communication training
  • A Lawyer Link service to promote prompt action if there was a walk-in enquiry into reception who wanted to see a lawyer urgently
  • The 007 principle – an observation that every client can generate seven matters over time
  • “Post heroic leadership” – a more collaborative and reflective approach

Cripps LLP

  • 400 people in London and Kent offices – with a need to constantly engage them in the strategic change programmes so that client service excellence followed
  • Referred to the Future of Legal Services report ( indicating that by 2020 there will be more solicitors in B2B than B2C and 35% of solicitors will be working in-house
  • Has a project management team which is constantly mapping processes throughout the firm to find ways to do things better – constant improvement requires constant strategic change management
  • Use of staff surveys, focus groups and an innovation hub
  • Changed the firm’s operating model

Disability Illness Discrimination (DIDLAW LTD)

  • Only specialist employment law firm focusing on disability
  • Founded by an ex-City sales person and former general counsel of L’Oreal
  • Her main points were:
    • Do one thing and do it really well
    • Adopt a human touch and a moral view of the world
    • Be transparent in pricing, Use Plain English and be friendly and approachable
    • Have a clear brand message – the firm uses green and white colours
    • Use social media – which requires no money at all – as the firm now comes up straight away in searches
    • Deliver the same client experience every time – surveys are sent to every client, their preferences are recorded and adhered to and the practice manager checks in with clients regularly
    • Safeguarding training has been provided to staff so that they can watch over the children of clients during meetings

Jackson Centre

  • Now 275 people after an acquisition a year ago
  • Principals of “Making a difference” and “Put our people first”
  • Systems in place so that everyone communicates consistently the next morning
  • Rebrand communication – the rationale and processes were explained to each department
  • 70 staff are involved in centres of excellence teams – each initiative has a leader and a team More staff are involved in the Facebook page and one-to-one sessions
  • There’s a new IT system in place and all staff received a stress ball saying “Don’t blame IT” when it was launched
  • There are IVF and cancer policies so that all staff feel supported
  • Every member of staff has had Colour Insight personality profiling and this approach is used to understand and match clients with appropriate communication and relationship styles
  • In front of house there are no receptionists or desks. Lawyers sit with clients and take them coffee
  • The corporate structure has been changed to separate ownership, leadership and management

In the technology presentation we had also seen the Modern Slavery Act online self-assessment tool embedded in the Taylor Wessing web site

Other conference highlights can be seen at #lmsconf2017 on Twitter