Having spoken to dozens of employment lawyers in mid-sized firms across England, Carolyn was surprised to find that all were in agreement that their practice’s strategy needed to change quickly but had not fully discussed the issue at board level.
Alain Cohen, consultant and co-founder of Ashby Cohen Solicitors in London, was one of the few to report that his colleagues were considering a new strategy for taking the firm forward, in light of this recent legislation.
“When legal services become available from commercial outlets, I believe both employers and employees will expect to receive the same level of expertise but for lower fees, driving many practises into fatal price wars”, he says. “It will become increasingly expensive for employment lawyers to chase employee cases, traditionally considered to be “soft targets”.
So does he think that employment lawyers should focus more specifically on employers instead?
“Employers are certainly looking to find added value in all business functions”, agrees Carolyn, whose firm, Employment Law Essentials, supplies employment lawyers with a branded HR web service for their clients.
"Lawyers from all disciplines should take a fresh, commercial look at their practice and think about what they can do for their clients which will keep them coming back for more. For those firms looking to remain competitive over the long term, this is a much more effective solution than simply slashing fees, a tactic which I believe is likely to see many practices folding over the next two years”.
Carolyn Mumby is a Barrister and employment law specialist. Having worked as Legal Services Director for a well known national employment law consultancy, she founded Employment Law Essentials in 2004.
In 2007, she began licensing ELE’s hosted HR web service to other employment lawyers and was astounded by the demand. This fully branded software is the perfect addition to core legal services, allowing lawyers to harness repeat revenue and offering their clients added value.
She now advises other employment lawyers on aspects of marketing and business development, with particular emphasis on niche marketing techniques.
Carolyn is regularly featured on air as an employment law expert on BBC Radio Humberside and BBC TV Look North.
Claire Shiels 07917 734613 firstname.lastname@example.org