Category Archives: Legal practice

How property solicitors can legally advertise purchase and mortgage services

As a lawyer or solicitor operating in the UK, you’ll be aware of rules on how you can promote yourself. For many years, any form of advertising was looked down upon and in some cases, prohibited. But in 2020, things have changed.

What are the rules on advertising?

In 2019, the SRA enacted a new provision of their Standards and Regulations relating to how a solicitor, REL or RFL can advertise. It stated that unsolicited, unwelcome, or intrusive approaches to members of the public, with the exception of current or former clients in order to advertise legal services, aren’t allowed.

This means that telephone calls, SMS, emails, and other forms of direct communication, with the aim of generating new sales, go against the Code of Solicitors. It was however clarified that legal professionals in the UK are allowed to advertise in a “non-intrusive and non-targeted way”. The SRA said that this could include adverts on TV or radio, newspaper publications, and social media adverts.

Legal services for mortgages

Legal services for mortgages include liaising with the broker, reviewing legal documentation, negotiations, and ensuring that the deal is the right one for the interests of the client. Solicitors are also involved in title searches, issues with deeds, creating and reviewing contracts, liaising with other parties, and ensuring the transaction is in line with UK law

Strategies for ethical promotion of mortgage services

Content writing

As mentioned above, certain forms of advertising are now allowed but they are still frowned upon by the legal community. One of the best ways to promote your firm and services is through writing articles, analysis, and case studies and publishing them in industry publications. 

For example, writing (with the client’s permission) analysis of a large or particularly complex transaction can demonstrate your skill in the area. Writing a detailed explanation of changes in the law relating to property can show your legal prowess or publishing relevant sector-specific news can prove that you have your finger on the pulse. Submitting articles of these types are great ways to position yourself as a professional in the field, without going for the hard sell.

Networking

As a law firm practising in the area of mortgages and property, you should be connecting with mortgage providers and brokers. This way you can increase the possibility of being recommended as a trusted provider of legal services in this area.

Networking will also allow you to understand the needs and demands of the industry so you can ensure your marketing efforts reflect what buyers want. There are several mortgage comparison sites where great mortgage deals can be found using Trussle’s free service. This will give you a great idea of what is available, and what kind of advice your future clients may need in relation to the mortgage deals they are going for. Networking and this kind of market research are key to knowing how to advertise your services in this sector.

Legal directories

There are several legal directories and ranking systems that your firm and partners can submit to. Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, FindLaw, Lawyers.com, and HG.org are great ways to get your practice’s information out there along with independent reviews of your performance. 

Each year you are required to submit information about your firm and details of notable cases you have worked on over the last 12 months. This information is then analysed to give you a ranking as well as provide the public with detailed information about you and your firm.

When promoting your services and specialities, we believe it is best to be subtle in your approach. Creating smart content, getting yourself listed, networking, and positioning yourself as a specialist is more effective than any billboard.

Image via Pexels

Why legal firms need to communicate better with clients

Legal firms should be telling a story even as they provide their products and services, something that can help develop a brand instead of diminishing it.

Providing legal expertise and helping with a case is one thing, but good communication with clients is essential. This point may seem obvious, but it needs bearing out for one key reason; because lawyers are much more likely to think they are good at communication with their clients as their customer base is.

This was a key finding of the LexisNexis Bellwether Report 2015: The Age of the Client. While 80 per cent of solicitors and barristers felt they were good at keeping in touch, only 40 per cent of clients concurred. That means that 60 per cent were left with reasons for grievance.

Among the common shortcomings are failing to keep clients abreast of the progress of a case, or missing a deadline without prior warning. Indeed, the hardest thing to do is to explain to a client why something was late and a promise not kept. The old saying “under-promise, over-deliver” remains true.

Other shortcomings include failing to take account of the impact of language barriers for those who are not fluent in English.

It is not just that your own clients will be more likely to come back if you have kept in touch and met or exceeded their expectations; word-of-mouth will amplify the impact you have, either growing or shrinking your potential client base.

These factors will all be magnified if your firm uses content marketing and social media as key elements of its marketing strategy. At the core of any successful strategy is having a story to tell using great content, which will outline just why you do what you do; namely your passion for helping your clients and righting wrongs.

By providing good service, you can not only demonstrate this in everyday situations; you can also use it to capitalise on good feedback.

Positive publicity on social media, ample scope for feedback to help enhance your services and the chance to raise awareness of what you do through blogs, articles and posts can all be hugely beneficial.

This, however, must dovetail with an equally positive experience of good everyday communication with your clients. If your firm can achieve this, it will help your brand and reputation grow even beyond your own highest expectations.

By Charlie Britten, BeUniqueness.co.uk.

Photo from Pixabay.

Alternative ways to manage a legal firm

Managing a law firm can be quite challenging especially when you don’t have help from experts in varied fields. Finding alternative ways of managing your law firms frees up time so that you can focus on core responsibilities. Aside from helping clients and the community, a law firm has sound management and administrative tasks that need to be addressed. Consider outsourcing legal marketing services from experts who will understand your vision and work with you to achieve it.

The importance of marketing and PR for a legal firm

Legal advertising is an integral part of running a law firm since it is a business that requires strategy and planning for it to thrive. Hiring professionals who understand the intricacies of legal ethics and your target audience ensures you move forward as one force. Choose a company that will serve your strategic and planning communications needs.

• Focus on your core business – practising law

As a small regional law firm, you need all hands on deck to ensure you achieve the goals you set for your business. A well-reputed service provider understands the industry and what needs to be done for your firm to stay ahead of your competitors. In running a law firm, remembering you are a lawyer firsts ensures you delegate the repetitive, mundane day to day activities so you can focus on practising law.

• Using a dedicated PR and marketing firm handle your day to day tasks

Dealing with your companies PR and promotion responsibilities can be quite time-consuming especially if you are not an expert in this field. The development of measurable promotion campaigns that you can integrate into your promotion plan is only possible when you get assistance from experts. Communicating mergers and acquisitions as you take strides towards expanding your law firm are made seamless and reasonable when you are working side to side with a professional legal marketing service provider.

• Implementing a strategic plan

You can use a strategic plan to influence the court of public opinion even as a small firm. Creation and execution of public relations plans need knowledge and skillsets that only an expert can have. With the right PR and promotion strategies, you can position yourself as a leader in a crowded marketplace. It would help if you had a company that advocates on your behalf to influence:

  • Leaders’ opinion
  • Media
  • Government officials
  • Civil leaders
  • Competitors and peers

In expert PR and promoting company will target decision-makers in the industry to ensure there is a referral relationship built for your firm’s benefit. When you garner qualified association membership, you can have a voice as a law firm in a crowded marketplace. PR helps you minimise the damage that arises from negative media coverage and other sources. With a strong PR and promotion plan in place, you are in a position to defend your firm’s hard-earned reputation. You can proactively safeguard your firm’s interests through media policies, crisis communication plans, as well as, social media policies.

Outsourcing support services

As a law firm, you need to spend time on money generating activities and leave the management tasks to professionals. Outsourcing PR and marketing services makes sense from a financial perspective as it is quite time-consuming. Trying to dabble lawyer responsibilities and marketing activities can hinder you from achieving success as a law firm. Aside from adapting time-saving routines, you need to outsource PR and marketing services to ensure you have control over your firm. Companies like Excello Libertas can help your business grow to include:

  • SEO specialists
  • Content marketing experts
  • Developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Brand consultants
  • Automation specialists

The value of outsourcing support services considering the unprecedented change in the legal profession cannot be underestimated.

Niche in-depth expertise and experience ensures that online lead generation activities give you the anticipated results. Experts with vast knowledge about how the legal industry works ensure excellent execution of your digital promotion campaigns. Speed and efficiency ensure that you are always steps ahead of your competitors. Recruiting an able team to offer PR and marketing services ensures that your law firm gets to where you want it to be.

Don’t forget to purchase professional indemnity insurance as a legal firm as this can save you from paying huge sums of money. Aside from legal digital marketing, PI insurance saves you money in cases where your firm has allegedly provided inadequate advice. As a law firm, you can easily fail due to professional negligence claims. Professional indemnity insurance protects the firm from bearing the full cost of these claims.

Conclusion

Having a disciplined PR and promotion strategy in place as a small law firm ensures you achieve success and grow as a business. Consider outsourcing support services so that you can focus on the core responsibilities. Hiring experts ensure you get anticipated results from PR and promotion strategies.

 

The importance of internal audits for lawyers

Internal audits are incredibly important for any business that provides efficient, compliant and secure services to its clients. These are three things (amongst many others) that every legal firm and individual lawyer must offer, which is why internal audits cannot be ignored by any lawyer in the UK.

As RSM reports, nearly 80% of jurisdictions worldwide have adopted the International Standards for Auditing (ISAs), showing recognition for a consistent auditing framework among many businesses. For lawyers, with the increased scrutiny auditing faces, this global uniformity allows internal audits to become more efficient, which is advantageous considering the importance they have.

Financial transparency

A lot of the times that law practice auditors arrive at a legal office or are asked to audit a lawyer, is when there has been a complaint made. This could either be from a fellow professional, client or someone else. However, the majority of times it is related to instances (or supposed instances) of financial mismanagement, fraud and when clients believe they have been overcharged.

Internal audits conducted before any such claims arise can help to provide financial transparency and hopefully prevent these issues occurring. Of course, an external audit will be more trusted by many current and potential clients but an internal one can be arranged a lot quicker, for cheaper and still offer an objective insight. This is easier for larger legal firms where it’s easier to find internal auditors who have no operational responsibility.

Identify and resolve weaknesses

An internal audit for your law firm should be undertaken on a regular basis to pick out any potential weaknesses or areas that are not meeting the required standards. Objective reviewing of your working practices, policies and procedures can help to highlight areas that require work. These can include anything from general risk prevention to making sure that you and others in your team or legal firm are meeting compliance requirements at all times.

Without an internal audit for a while a lot of risks and weaknesses could easily pass you by and make future problems worse. By identifying them internally as well, it allows you to resolve them before this happens and any current or future clients hear about such problems, potentially turning them away from using your legal expertise. This will help to maintain your reputation

Internal audits can help highlight and address issues such as billing fraud, inefficiencies, poor case management and more. These can all increase the legal fees you or your firm charge in the long run, causing real losses, which is why regular internal audits are essential in the legal business.