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Face to face: Viv Williams

Law firms should invest three per cent of their annual turnover on marketing in order to experience between 10 and 12 per cent growth per annum, says the leading legal business adviser

7 July 2006

With the legal market becoming more and more competitive, there is a perception that some law firms aren’t taking the necessary steps to stay profitable in the new environment. How would you respond to this?

I call it the ‘ostrich’ syndrome. Around half of law firms don’t like the idea of change and do not respond to the growing threat of competition. We try and encourage firms to create a culture within their practice and to look exactly at how they spend their money. Many firms still spend a fortune placing an advert in the Yellow Pages and think that constitutes adequate marketing. I always ask them to quantify that cost with the numbers of new clients – invariably they can’t tell me.

Do you have trouble persuading lawyers that your techniques should be adopted in their firms?

Law firms should be run as a business and not like many are being run at present. Some firms have over nine months worth of their cash tied u...

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