Practice areas

No two law firms are the same. It stands therefore that the development needs of practices cannot be met by standardised solutions. By innovating and evolving our services we ensure our methodologies are relevant and current to meet the ever changing client needs that lawyers face. Our commitment to consult first and propose solutions second ensures all development initiatives achieve deliverable outcomes for firms and their people.

Private practice - lawyers

With over 20 years’ experience of working with a broad range of clients from strong regional firms, niche practices through to global law firms, we have been helping fee earners to improve their business development capabilities to compete in an ever competitive legal services market.

Historically, legal firms have adopted an essentially reactive approach to business development, moving into selling mode when a client or prospect approaches them with an opportunity to pitch – be it a formal or informal process.

However, in a highly competitive and tough economic climate where clients are increasingly demanding and more sophisticated in how they buy legal services – including the involvement of procurement – such an approach is no longer adequate for retaining business and generating new clients.

Success at winning business has three elements.

  • To identify and qualify those clients with whom the firm would most like to do business.
  • To pinpoint the multiple individuals within client organisations who can make and influence decisions and engage with them early in their decision making process. Partners and Fee Earners need to be proactive in identifying clients’ issues and requirements, and engage in discussions while taking into account clients’ selection criteria.
  • To adopt rigorous strategies to help sell against the competition.

A firm who wants to lead the field in sales needs to transform selling from individual competency and pockets of good practice into organisational capability. This means creating a client development culture which is part of the strategic management of the firm.

As fee levels come under unprecedented downward pressure, it is now more important than ever to differentiate the practice by reference to the value it brings to each client’s business.

Proactive client management and client development is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It needs to be recognised as a core activity – on a par with fee-earning itself – as central to the future health and prosperity of the practice.

How Huthwaite Legal can help your business

We have a formidable track record in helping clients bring about real changes in behaviour that produce measurable results, and we’ve been working for over twenty years to deliver skills training across all practice areas. A combination of our experience, sector understanding and rigorous approach to business development provides you with reassurance that your people achieve both skill and behavioural improvements.

We always work with clients to provide solutions to meet their skill requirements, and this often includes developing the skills and strategies to help move fee earners (sellers) from a technical to a client value focus. Most frequently these have been in the areas of SPIN® Selling Skills(Consultative Selling), Account Strategy for Major Sales, Negotiation and Networking skills.

Private practice - business support teams

The contribution of business support teams to the overall business development effort now plays a significant part in client service delivery. Their ability to support partners and fee earners is an essential part of their role. At Huthwaite Legal we understand the dynamics and interaction between these groups and have created programmes which enable business support teams to be more effective in all business development activities.

For many firms, the 'holy grail' of sales effectiveness is value creation by everyone who comes in contact with clients. For most firms it has proved elusive, a wonderful concept that is impossible to achieve in practice. Often this is because the process for achieving it – making everyone who has contact with clients more 'salesy', is fundamentally flawed. However, all staff can make a valuable contribution to creating sales opportunities through excellent service delivery and how they interact with clients during this process.

Business development should not be viewed as the sole responsibility of the partners and the specialist development team. All staff who have direct and indirect client contact have to recognise that they have a vital role to play in helping to grow the practice.

The organisations that are going to have the most success in the next few years will be those that effectively align their fee earning, service delivery and business development operations more closely. The best way to achieve this will be to help and support all client-facing staff to play a more direct role in business generation and client relationship management.

How Huthwaite Legal can help your business

We have a formidable track record in helping clients bring about real changes in behaviour that produce measurable results, and we’ve been working for over twenty years to deliver skills training across all business areas. A combination of our experience, sector understanding and rigorous approach to business development provides you with reassurance that your people achieve both skill and behavioural improvements.

We always work with clients to provide solutions to meet their skill requirements, and this often includes developing the skills and strategies to help business support teams move from a service delivery psyche to a client value focus. Our most successful programmes include: Sales Through Service, Internal Consultancy Skills and Major Account Development.

In-house counsel

In-house lawyers face many of the challenges their counterparts in private practice face, but they have the added dimension of managing their internal business relationships to enable them to demonstrate sound commercial skills and deliver good technical advice. Huthwaite Legal programmes for in-house counsel cover areas such as negotiation, internal consultancy skills and meeting skills.

The role of the in-house lawyer has changed dramatically over the last ten years and is now an established part of the legal profession, where those in the role are not only competent lawyers, but also business managers. Whether head of Global Legal or a sole in-house lawyer, you will be one of the few departments that deals with the whole business, from ‘doorman’ to ‘chairman’, from strategic problems and operational issues to nitty-gritty trading detail, usually with limited resources. With increasing regulation, it is a challenge to be able to provide the range of legal advice to the size of operation, and still keep your finger on the pulse of the business.

Organizations’ are scrutinizing every area of cost and it is important that every department or division can demonstrate value - the in-house legal department is no exception.

Much of the value that in-house counsel delivers to the business depends on your relationships with other managers and directors and the extent to which you integrate into their world. We have all heard the whispers ‘order blockers’ or ‘business interruption department’. For in-house lawyers, your commercial skills are as crucial as your technical skills to enable you to be effective and contribute commercial solutions for the business.

How Huthwaite International can help your business

Huthwaite have a unique proposition for in-house lawyers, we work with most of the worlds most respected businesses and law firms, so we see your issues from both your internal customers perspectives and your private practice suppliers. We have taken these experiences and adapted a series of programmes to meet the needs of in-house legal departments.