News Pinsent Masons Business Leadership £477,000? Maybe we’re worth it By Matt Byrne 1 August 2014 14:21 17 December 2015 11:59 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer John 1 August 2014 at 14:40 This dry, dull article, which does not give even the faintest hint of understanding how legal marketing works is exactly the reason why people say these positions are a waste of money. In my (albeit limited) 7 years as a layer at a city firm I have not once come across a client that was 100% the product of a marketing teams work. All new client initiatives are lawyer led, with the marketing team there to tick the boxes, create the spreadsheets and the power point presentations – which a lawyer will then review and amend, heavily. Until this is no longer the case, these so called ‘executives’ will continue to be thought of with derision. But good on you for getting at least one lawyer (the senior partner) to believe that you are worth your £500k salary. Reply Link Anonymous 1 August 2014 at 15:02 I decided to leave private practice when, in preparation for a lateral move, I arranged a covert lunch with a client I was hoping to take with me. He was late, and at the next table I could hear a lawyer schmoozing a client. “Jesus Christ,” I thought, “if that’s what I sound like….”. Lawyers’ own marketing is cringeworthy. Leave it to the professionals. Or go the whole hog and do the accounts, the catering and the IT yourself. Reply Link Non-layer (sic) 1 August 2014 at 15:24 @John, read again. His whole point is that BD needs to be more sales-oriented and to deliver more ROI. Surely you’re on the same page – just coming at it from different sides. Reply Link PR Guru 1 August 2014 at 15:40 John @2.40PM clearly doesn’t get it. Although perhaps his is a firm that has not employed BD/M staff that they trust to help grow the business, in which case it’s a Catch 22 situation. If the partners don’t value BD/M then they don’t hire the top people who can really add value, boost the brand, increase sales and in short increase PEP. If the firms insist on hiring weak BD/M staff and treating them like their PAs, then they cannot expect much value in return. Reply Link Andrew 1 August 2014 at 15:42 Layer? Perhaps you were. Reply Link Tim Nightingale, Nisus Consulting 1 August 2014 at 15:45 John, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. I wish I had a fiver for every client who has told me his City lawyers know little or nothing of his business or little or nothing about managing a million pound relationship. They work hard, put in long hours but lack the ability to communicate on a business level with the client’s management team. Exceptional partners do this and do it well – so called rainmakers. The rest are busy churning the work – failing to spot opportunities, not passing work to their partners and sometimes even recommending the opposition. Trust me it happens. A lot of law firm marketing and comms is woeful. People who earn £477k (I know none) will have their feet held to the flames. They have to deliver just as a fee earner. If they don’t deliver and add significant value, they’re out – and rightly so. I don’t know whether your head of BD is worth the money for what they deliver, but delivering when swimming against the tide of recidivist, controlling partners to deliver success demands political skills and warrants real rewards. Or equity. Reply Link Anonymous 1 August 2014 at 15:52 Many a time I have heard from partners (owners of the business) that state they are under pressure to deliver, they actually have the client relationships and are the ones that trans-act on the work…. This is nothing more than a support function, to what is the business of law… The fact that these individuals are paid over the odds shows the clear problem in most firms – the attribution of who is responsible for what?…. is it the introductory agent ? if so what % of the introduction have they actually contributed … ‘Here is a name and a company…. ‘or is it the individual that actually Business Develops , leads the initiative , and dare I say it sells on the finished proposal… this is the lawyer and never ever the Marketing Manager or any individual within a firm……. Bonuses and salaries in business should be in line with results and contributions.. In essence if your job is not be a fee earner than what contribution are you really bringing in ? If your job is support … then support but do not be expected to be rewarded as a fee earner….. If you are eager for the fee earner status then become a lawyer and prove your worth with the daily pressure of delivery…. Then fill your boots as much as you want… Same is applicable to all entities within a law firm from HR monkeys ( that clearly have no understanding of business critical requirements) to BD Marketing over rated chimps that believe they understand clients when in essence it is the LAWYER (Counsel / Consultant ) he that is trusted by a client to represent that carries all the responsibility and pressure Reply Link Anonymous 1 August 2014 at 16:00 “layer”?? If you’re going to state your case against Marketing at least get the spelling right!! Reply Link Anonymous 1 August 2014 at 16:43 Thanks Andy. However, I still think it is a huge amount of money for an easy role. Reply Link Tim Nightingale, Nisus Consulting 1 August 2014 at 16:52 Anonymous at 3.52 – you’re a dinosaur! Your conception of marketing/BD and what it does is more dated than an avocado bathroom suite. Here’s something to consider: in a large, non-professional services company like Unilever, Mars, Proctor & Gamble etc., marketing would be central to the company’s success in brand building, seeking new markets, improving sales and margins. And the legal department would be viewed as support. Except big companies know better than to demean their valued staff by classifying them as ‘support’. Terry Leahy who led Tesco to such success came from a marketing background. It’s not all newsletters and events. The ability to think strategically, carry out research, implement key client programmes, enhance client loyalty, grow relationships, help partners to sell more effectively, improve pitch success rates all have the potential to add more value than any one fee earner can alone. The key is the firm finding the right people to do the job and then allowing them to do the job, not restricting them by making them answerable to anybody with a slice of equity. Your view is desperately blinkered. If marketing and business development was not cost effective, it would not exist. Simple as. Reply Link Anonymous 1 August 2014 at 16:54 The fact that 2 of the responses from these so called BD professionals do nothing but pick up on a typo in John’s message demonstrates exactly the worth they bring to a company. Cross the T’s, dot the I’s and make things look pretty using Microsoft Paint – in any other world this job would get you minimum wage! Reply Link Anonymous 1 August 2014 at 17:08 John, what a disappointing view point you have. You clearly don’t work in a firm that has a market leading (and recognised) BD and Marketing team that develop and drive forward innovative, creative campaigns. You obviously don’t have the crucial support you need on firm wide, international bids which require a huge amount of coordination and project management. And you obviously don’t have the benefit of a team that actively supports and advises its associates (upon request from senior management) on developing their business case and their practice for their future careers. You do say your experience is limited – let’s hope it improves over time. Reply Link Anonymous 2 August 2014 at 09:09 A few points I would like to make in reply to some of the comments above. I’m not really trying to make excuses, and I disagreed with quite a few of the marketing people on the other thread of comments (i.e. that you should be well paid because it’s a hard life, um, no) but I don’t think the issues are really as black and white as some of the comments on this particular article suggest. 1. You are going to be hard pushed to find any client which is ‘100% the product of a marketing team’s work’. As with most achievements, it’s going to be a combination of things. Much in the same way I’m sure fee earners are never ‘100%’ responsible for getting a deal done, solving an issue etc. because there is some client-side input. It’s about combining different skills sets and leveraging other people’s knowledge and experience. The most effective marketing/BD people, in my opinion, have actually sold things and so can deliver more value than correcting typos and grammar. As mentioned in one of the earlier comments though, professional services often want to employ people, especially marketing people, who are not going to ‘rock the boat.’ When I have applied for positions (including one in the MC) that has actually been one of the requirements. It’s a bit cheap to then turn around and say ‘our marketing people don’t do anything’ if all you wanted them to do was book taxis and arrange drinks. Thankfully, though, that is starting to change (at all levels of the industry). 2. Linked to the above (and the below really) is that it is quite difficult to measure marketing success. Once you even have your measurements and KPIs in place you have to deal with the fact that a) people tend not to record, or ask, where a prospect/client has come from and b) partners want the credit. So that even if the marketing department did source the prospect, include them on a content marketing campaign, arrange events tailored to the prospect/their industry, carry out the research and brief the partner, sometimes the partner’s ego will want to attribute success solely to themselves (‘they just showed up and we got on.’) 3. The comment about client relationships being led by partners is correct, however as is the comment about the sales skills of partners. One of the functions of marketing/BD (less so marketing) is to transfer skills/upskill partners. Lawyers in particular tend to lack basic sales skills, that isn’t something marketing departments make up to justify their existence, its something you can read in most of the in-house interviews on this very website. That is where some marketing/BD deliver value to that part of the process. Others actually do ‘get out there’ on new client meetings to build relationships and convert clients ‘on the ground’. Again, though, that requires the partnership to want to do things differently. With that all said, I find it hard to justify a £447,000 ‘salary’ (although as some have pointed out that is not the actual salary) without knowing who receives it and what they have done. Otherwise its quite hard to form an objective opinion beyond incencsed rage or sympathetic back-patting, neither of which are really useful. Reply Link Martin Bragg 2 August 2014 at 10:44 Firstly, is 477k a lot of money? Tons. Secondly, some interesting comments from two groups of people who are supposed to work together. I hope everyone plays nice on Monday. Thirdly, as a BD professional do I deliver most of my value to the top 10% of partners who are superb at BD or the 10% of partners who feel that my very existence demeans their profession? No. But for the middle 80% – who have spent their whole careers with onerous chargeable targets over their heads and are now being asked to develop clients as well – I can, and do, help. My ideas are generally low tech and always simple. So simple in fact to have escaped individuals up to that point. My role is to turn that top 10% into a top 50, 60 or 70% at which point I will have worked my way out of a job. There is value in what I do, and what I get paid (a tiny fraction of the number quoted above) is deemed value for money by the professionals who employ me. Reply Link Peter Watson 2 August 2014 at 13:18 They have the mentality that marketing is easy, that well anyone can do that, especially as I am qualified as a solicitor, hell they think once they are qualified they are equipped to do any role, you can just imagine hearing someone scream ‘is there a doctor in the house?’ ‘I am not a doctor, but don’t worry I am a solicitor, so stand aside and let me perform the triple heart bypass’, they show such arrogance. Reply Link Richard Johnson 2 August 2014 at 14:47 Think we all know that Anonymous | 1-Aug-2014 3:52 pm, your company won’t be around too long with that attitude, and boy you are so 1970 and you really don’t understand the real meaning of marketing, both B2B and B2C (Business to Business and Business to Consumer) you probably don’t know those terms. Marketing isn’t just getting in business, it’s brand building, it’s reputation management, key in the social media world of today, it’s product, service developments it even feeds into processes due to impact that can have on brand. Bet you are close to 60, male, gray suit and gray skin, wife at home, two kids went to good schools, and let’s guess, both went to law school. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. Reply Link Anonymous 2 August 2014 at 19:05 I have yet to meet any BD people in the legal profession who are any good. I’ve met a large number who are very average and who think BD is about getting lawyers and clients to the races on time. Whilst there will be exceptions the vast majority do no more than that which a decent pay can do. Reply Link Richard Smith 4 August 2014 at 02:25 “Maybe this seems a leap today but at major accountancy practices and management consultancies, BD staff often operate on some form of commission basis.” – they do in some law firms too (daringly called “sales teams” in some firms). 10% of revenue paid on a matter brought in seems to be the yardstick. Reply Link Mary 4 August 2014 at 11:23 There is a mixed bag of emotions on this article to say the least! As a senior member of a BD team in a large international firm, I can say with some conviction that we add more value than “getting them to the races on time” or “using Microsoft Paint”. We are a highly regarded team who provide strategic advice to the senior management of the firm. We are consulted and brought in to discussions at the Board about the focus and growth of the firm and work with our teams to help implement that stratgey. We work on campaigns and thought leadership that have helped win clients and receive outstanding client feedback on these products. For those of you that work in firms where that is not the case, that is a shame. A strong BD team makes more difference than you realise. Reply Link ex lawyer business man 4 August 2014 at 13:01 The fact that there’s even a discussion about whether marketing is important demonstrates that lawyers, whilst very clever, are very slow to get experience of the real business world – I guess that’s because of the pressure of daily delivery as someone put it. Try moving outside the cocoon of a law firm and being responsible solely for bringing in business yourself, it’s not an “easy job”. Viewed from the outside, lawyers in general (not all, cf comment on rainmakers) are notoriously shit at relationship building. Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 13:43 @Richard Smith – dare I suggest you need a new finance director if your firm has agreed a 10% on revnue commission structure. Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 13:45 Very true @ex lawyer business man. And while we’re at it, just because partners pay themselves in six or seven figures, it doesn’t mean they earn it. Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 14:12 What is all this “strategic advice”? “What are these campaigns? Look at areas that bring in revenue at the moment and focus on them, as well as developing areas? Highlight large projects that you have worked on already? Get to know that customer’s business well? Hold conferences and invite potential clients? Demonstrate integration between regional/national offices? Show value? Reply Link James Retekram Reywal 4 August 2014 at 14:19 As a sales person to the legal profession, I am on neither “side” of this argument but have to say, running my own business, that bringing in business is neither easy nor something which can be done in isolation from the people doing the execution. Thus, lawyers have the direct client contact and close the deal oftentimes but the more support, in whatever form, they receive, the better. Surely we would be better not calling each other “HR monkeys” “shit” etc and trying to get a real, practical understanding of what roles we perform and how to get the best from each other. Part of the problem here is one of the jargon to which we are accustomed. Whether its “B2B/B2C” or “campaigns” or “thought leadership”, these things mean something to professionals who consider themselves to offer them but little or nothing to the layperson (or lawyer!) It is very easy to conclude from the fact that marketing/BD professionals find it difficult to define their roles here by reference to concrete tasks they perform which create “value” that they do not add any. This is not the case. They just can’t really define their job without reference to a practical example, which will be confidential for obvious reasons…. We should all be able to play in the same pen without fighting and lawyers ought to decide whether their marketing people can or can’t add something to their own sales efforts (if applicable) and, if not, don’t use them, attend their events etc. If you open yourselves to the possibility that marketing/BD and lawyers may each contribute to the process of business acquisition (in some cases, acquisition business) you will at least have people trying out working together not rival factions in the same firm. Reply Link Miriam Gibson 4 August 2014 at 14:50 As an “HR Monkey” I find the tenor of the comments made here somewhat offensive. Lawyers are presenting themselves as schoolchildren incapable of forming a coherent thought. For apostles, John (idiot) and James (speaker of considerable sense) could not be more different in their opinions or apparent objectivity. Putting this into my native dialect for the benefit of my immediate professional colleagues in HR “oo oo oo ee ee ee, akkk akkk, oo oo oo ee ee ee”. Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 16:03 90% of lawyers do homework for a living. Put your ego away and go and do something meaningful with your life. Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 17:25 Can you polish a turd ? If so you are worthy of £1,000,000 per annum…. The truth is no you cannot, because ultimately it is the entities within a firm ( THE LAWYERS ) that are undertaking the work and delivering to their clients. It is the ( LAWYERS) that live and die by the sword, it is they who are offering the professional services. If the ( LAWYERS) leave and go elsewhere, where do you believe that wonderful relationship that exists will go ? ( Case in point Three Crowns & BP panel )…… Does anyone believe this was the result of marketing ??????? NO it was the experience and reputation of the individuals within that managed to solidify this panel position. A marketing / BD manager is nothing more than an individual that cleans and polishes a car…. and then looks at it and says wow what a wonderful job I have done….. What a bunch of B*****S, no respect for the designer, the builder and the driver of that car…. in Essence apply the same principles to a firm… from training to developing the individuals within ( the lawyers ) fee earners are the ones that make that firm exciting and polished on reputation for the potential new clients….. The turd polishers are merely that …. END OF ARGUMENT Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 20:01 Random COMMENT in shouty CAPITALS Reply Link Anonymous 4 August 2014 at 21:29 Not the “END OF ARGUMENT”, rather the end of an ill-informed if not plain ignorant monologue. As a lawyer I would expect more of Anonymous 4/8 5.25pm. Perhaps I could suggest a course in marketing and BD so that you can begin to understand what you are commenting on, apparently in ignorance. Big brain? More likely small mind. Reply Link James Retekram Reywal 5 August 2014 at 12:07 Anonymous at 4-Aug 5:25PM “they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our FREEDOM!!!” eh?? Reply Link Anonymous 5 August 2014 at 12:26 My first comment “Wow! Amazing that such an easy job can be rewarded so well.” was not meant to be churlish. Marketing is easy. You ensure that the right people understand what you do and how you go about it at the right time. This will always be needed but not in it’s current form. The way in which business is won is changing. Increasingly clients have a strict procurement process where marketing fluff (which is the same in every law firm) is irrelevant. For this reason the marketing manager will become obsolete and the bid writers will take over. I know this is not a popular view amongst marketeers. However, it is what the clients want, it pulls departments together and it removes the megalomaniac at the top trying to take the credit. Old fashioned marketeers will stay on as they are experts at convincing business owners they are necessary. The sheer volume of anxious comments show just how good we are at doing this. Reply Link C Darwin 6 August 2014 at 12:47 Calling all dinosaurs – listen-up! I dont intend to be fashionably late about this, have been on a field trip studying Jurassic fossils. Many years in this sector means I have worked with a few hundred partners in several firms. Sure, you come in all shapes and sizes, but this one’s for you Mr Stegosaurus, small-headed plant eater, king of the nitrogenous swamp. Wakey-wakey, your type needs help. Somehow you’ve resisted both competitive pressure and environmental change and Mother Nature is losing her patience. Evolution waits for no species. So what’s it going to be: get stuck in the mud and be tomorrow’s relic fuel, or get your head out of the swamp and pay attention! Good! Then let’s look at the differences between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’ in the commercial world of business development (BD). Firstly the Haves: Lawyers with good BD skills This will resonate with lawyers practising good BD skills: You generally embrace change…even if it doesn’t always feel comfortable. You accept that you increase your chances of survival if you adapt to your changing environment. Most of you are naturally commercial, you ‘get’ stuff like: demand, supply, solutions, pricing, products, quality, profit etc. You put your client at the centre of most things you do. You try to see the world from their perspective and add value by helping to solve their overall problem, not just the legal piece in which you were trained. Many of you invariably see the bigger picture – yes, you trust your partners and have an inclusive, integrated approach. You rarely come across like a know-all. You don’t need to extol the virtues of technical prowess because I guess most of you are comfortable with the fact that technical excellence is a given in top firms. When we sit down at the beginning of the FY, you aren’t afraid to ask for guidance. When I showed you some of the principles of Huthwaite, for example, you were curious and ordered a second-hand copy of the book. When we looked at client research, many of you interpreted the strategic analysis and then reconciled potential market demand with our firm’s capabilities. You understood the client’s sector, their challenges and opportunities and you intelligently speculated with me on valuable ideas which, according to the GC, were ‘different and worth pursuing with the COO’. We won instructions because we invested in doing things differently, proactively…the client’s way. Most of you agree to prep for an hour prior to the client meeting – the ‘sales meeting’. Okay, so your toes curled a little at the word ‘sales’ – but you accepted that it was part of the 21st century lawyer’s role. We respected each other’s strengths – thank you. You drafted smart questions which followed a proven ‘sales’ technique. You listened to the client for most of the time and spoke the least – but wow, your questions were smart and moved us forward in terms of credibility and making a better proposal that didn’t just roll off the intranet sausage proposal factory. You agreed to leave the brochure in the brief case. You bit your lip when refraining from talking about the 43 credentials – as taught by the silver fox rainmaker. You dropped the DHL-style pitch – the homogenous one about the 5,000 lawyers in 73 cities with unrivalled strength and depth. Many of you invested in financial planning – NO, not with an IFA, but with me and the financial team. Sure you weren’t that keen on numbers – not your training – but you listened to the finance manager and picked up on the accounting jargon. You got your head around variance analysis and went in search of improving poor leverage; the over-serviced clients and the poorly priced fixed fee matters. Margins went up. You knew your cost of sales from cost of operations and knew GP from NP. Many of you are confident and articulate – as with most kinds of lawyers. You willingly sat MBTI and Belbin. And yes, it confirmed all the good things people saw in you. You would plan a team talk or the cameo appearance at the partners’ conference. You would never ‘wing-it’. You would take an interest in John P Kotter. You’d know how to engage an audience and appeal to their rational minds and beating hearts. Yes, you could move people. You motivate them and persuade them to try new behaviours associated with BD not historically taught in the lawyer’s training. Now I could go on, but I think the picture has taken shape. Lawyers who practise good BD, I salute you. You are rock stars of the legal world. Your clients love you. You are your firm’s future; an inspiration to those who one day will be like you. You are the ones who impressed clients the most; grew your key accounts; deliver excellent service; improved profitability; think of the next generation of issues …yah de yah. Onto the antithesis….. The Have-Nots: Lawyers with lesser-developed BD Skills Mr Stegosaurus: Chances are, you are post forty-something – just like many of the ‘Haves’. IQ is mid 120s – 130s just like the marketing, hr and finance bods. EQ is probably a bit on the low side, unlike many of the the bods. Statistically, you are several times more likely to be a male dinosaur than a female – again like the Haves. Mrs, or even Miss, Stegosaurus, you are far from exonerated, this applies to you. You qualified mid 1990’s or thereabouts, right? You spent your junior lawyer years surfing the economic peak of the Kondratiev super waves ( see LSE ). The global economy was on steroids, an upward trajectory for 20 years with minor blips around every seven. Let’s be honest, you were spoon fed. The work fell into your laps. You picked up world-class experience and good old Blighty lead the way across the international jurisdictions. Some may say you were a necessary evil. I disagree. The banks loved to hate you. Harsh but true. The world was undersupplied with lawyers, de facto. And so you grew up seduced by a sense of false security, never dwelling for too long to think that the world would one day change; that its economy would slow down; that lawyers would be in over supply and that clients buying skills would one day outstrip your rudimental selling skills. When the penny dropped, many of you played lip service to corporate change efforts and secretly hoped the agents of change would die a miserable death and leave you in peace. Those of you resonating with this point – you are the passive resistors of the business world. You suppress energy. You welcome inertia and wait for likeminded resistors to surface in the restaurant. You are complicit in avoiding accountability. You make the managing partner and management team (yes that includes the marketing bod) work harder than they should. Speeding things up: You think management- speak is ‘clap-trap’. MBA – puh! Peter Drucker? John P Kotter? Whoooo? I know – you’d rather proof read the junior marketing executives draft brochure and wield your mighty red pen at the best £19k a year could buy. And as for client service…of course, – it’s all in the documentation – the one and only product of a lawyer. So you think clients are there to always be advised, not consulted. Ask them! They only want technical brilliance and a 27 page immaculate credentials document. Really? You haven’t yet realised many of them are commercial directors who read the books and sat the exams which you berate – take care! You think clients love your DHL-type brochures – you sly dog! Oh yes (smug chortle) a stroke of genius putting that embossed map in the centre-fold; especially the way you got the marketing bod to colour in the serviced cities using v10 of MS Paint. Yes her Masters in Business Administration came to the fore that day. And you kindly told the herd back at the swamp about her excellent colouring in skills – ‘she never once went over the lines’. Moving on: you don’t attend when the client invites you to hear about their panel review strategy because it is a meeting run by procurement specialists who simply want to drive down price. Derrrrh! (see institute of procurement ). You don’t have time for financial planning; so much so, that you don’t know what a P&L is ( see Pearson Ed glossary ). You don’t like strategy either. Strategic advice? A load of pretty pictures? Sounds far too prosaic. Why paint a picture when you could describe it in a 1000 words. Whatever next? Clients will be asking for fixed fees and questioning the integrity of the hourly rate! Er hum…(see Economist -lawyers-biggest-customers-are-discovering-they-can-haggle-charging-more-getting-less ). Despite having seen them several times, you still think a SWOT is something used to kill the flies around your desk ( see wikipedia ). You think PESTLE is the spice crusher in the kitchen cupboard ( ditto ). And you wonder why the marketing bod keeps saying we need a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (see segmentation). You probably don’t trust your partners and are the very nemesis of cross-selling and integrated solutions. You frustrate them and they long for your departure. MOI? Yes you! I’ve heard them talking about you over drinks at midnight at the partner conference. They use words like ‘he’s on an island’; ‘he ruined that pitch’; ‘she didn’t bother attending any of the key client training, I just can’t introduce her to the client’. And yes, I know you don’t prepare how to maximise a client sales meeting – why should you, you are not going there to sell SILLY, no, no, no – the client is there to BUY your technical brilliance. At meetings you cling to brochures like a tired two-year old hugs a comfort blanket. It is your best marketing effort. The brochure is your presentation and… oh no… wait…if the ground could have swallowed you up, you’ve just noticed a grammatical error in the use of a full colon and its subsequent list of bullets prepared by the marketing executive. The client will spot it, you are doomed. Calm down Mr Stegosaurus. All will be okay. But yes, I know, you should have fired her (the same marketing bod) when you had the chance. She was never any good at MS Paint was she. Mercurial? You? Never! Back to modern day business: you are too good to bother asking the client questions of the ‘sales’ kind about their strategy; their business sector challenges; objectives; what ‘value’ looks like; whether they are exploring alternative delivery; disaggregation; LPO or otherwise. A deal is a deal for heaven’s sake! Why is it any different from the 27 deals described in your impeccable credentials pack. Moving on….Mr Stegosaurus sometimes finds himself in a leadership role. The team strategy meeting…aahh, take care anyone expecting business discussion – sneeze and you’ll miss the client focus part. It’s the new policy that the cross-practice team needs to dwell on. Yes that’s right, ‘the devil is in the detail’. Why exchange sector trends in a strategy meeting which contribute to account planning growth when the team could learn about the new expenses claims guidelines. Researching the client’s position in their market is nonsense, it changes so quickly and takes far too much time. And lastly, may I pontificate the reasons for Mr Stegosaurus’ behaviour. In my opinion, Mr ‘S’ is bright and hard working and intends to always deliver an excellent legal document. Reasonably good chance he is an INTJ or not far off ( see human metrics ) . However, as suggested earlier, at some earlier point in his career, the world moved on from technical excellence being the primary driver of client choice. Mr S felt uncomfortable that being a partner in 21st C large firm required a more rounded skill set. The limelight was fading ever so slightly. Yes, you remember when the ‘accounting thingies’ came along and read your financial statements. They could see in less than 10 minutes that your practice was technically insolvent within a year. Mr S – you would never have spotted that and you tried to feign your indifference just like a guilty farter in the elevator never blinks an eye. The ‘HR Monkey’ overwhelmed you with L&D strategy that would later win your firm outstanding recruitment awards, accolades which helped your firm’s foot holding in the battle for top talent. In other cases the ‘marketing bod’ spotted the flaws in your growth forecast (you know, the one that said last year’s turnover + 5%, right?) and dared to question your marketing campaigns and the optimistic pipeline of opportunities they would yield. And then, those ‘Strategists’ came on the scene and showed you the uncomfortable, but true, reflection of your future self. Sure, it was all a bit disturbing, after all, there has been more change and innovation rammed into the sector in the last six years than any other period of the legal sector. However, Mr S had been around long before and whether his dinosaur instincts existed prior to recent history, he was always going to resist evolution like Joan Collins buys face cream. For the balanced critics, yes I agree – this note could have constructively explored the five ways to help Mr S, but to be honest, my train journey was more fun and I wanted to say what I think. Thank you Centaur! Now for all you PQE 7 dinosaurs (John? was it?), this turf is not for you tiger. Stand down! You are way out of your depth sniping around at this level. Get back to your DD and stop picking on junior marketing execs trying to learn a descent trade. If I had to guess, you’re most likely a disaffected Silver Circle corporate lawyer who lacked the ‘magic dust’ we bods have bulging from our pockets. Grinding out the hours of a pit pony? Live in the pocket of your line manager? Don’t worry, you’ll graduate to poodle status next year and be groomed for three subsequent years only to be offered partnership in a business where you have no comprehension of its economics. Hopefully, you will be mentored by one of the Haves and be offered an alternative route to perdition. Meanwhile, your kind of Stegosaurus fetch two-a-penny on the labour market. You remain constantly narked by the fact that non-lawyers of the same age can earn much more than you. There are ten of you for every marketing bod. Get it? The oldest rule of economics. (see demand and supply). Sure, one day you will be more powerful and will have a place at the table, but for the next 5-10 years – know your place! I really do have to go now. I have had to delete many useful internet references from my post which won’t be accepted by this platform – they did appear in brackets . For those of you that recognise me, my thoughts, experiences and the way my diatribe manifests itself – please be reminded that these are entirely mine and not in any way representative of my peers or my employer. If dinosaurs don’t like the fact that I’ve clocked more hours in commercial sales meetings with CXOs and GCs than you – TOUGH! I’ve also earned more business air miles travelling to economic cities around the world than you’ve recorded units. Man up Mr Stegosaurus, because there are more marketing bods like me out there who work perfectly well with good lawyers and management teams (the Haves) and we love all things brand, quality, CRM, SEO, pricing, profit, selling and client instructions. Any Dinosaur wanting to take this discussion further, then post your prehisto-rhetoric here. Anyone wanting to meet me over a cup of tea to tell me I’m not worth every penny of my £477k monthly salary- BRING IT ON! My email address is saveMrStegosaurus followed by the ‘at’ sign, followed by outlook and then dot com. It’s real. Chaz Reply Link jj 8 August 2014 at 17:12 Too long; didn’t read. Reply Link Marketing Bod 8 August 2014 at 18:16 Pity, you will learn from it. Reply Link Ashley Balls 15 August 2014 at 00:33 Too many lawyers still don’t get that they are in business and have no automatic right to receive any instructions. I recently ran a workshop for the corporate department of a major practice and was surprised that no routine client needs analysis was carried out. Worse, no one in the room was aware that in 4 weeks time one their major and so called ‘secure’ clients was appointing its first GC. As for marketing I couldn’t get anyone to provide a cogent and correct definition of the function. Being a good lawyer is not enough, especially now that there are 3 times as many lawyers per capita as there were in 1975. Reply Link Nicholas Moore 15 August 2014 at 08:54 This debate is symptomatic of the wider “them and us” culture and a romantic yet preposterous view from some lawyers who think they are masters of the universe. Collaboration and respect is missing entirely. Law schools have been churning out graduates at rates that would make manufacturers in Guangzhou blush. The reality is “the law” is becoming more and more commoditised and we have too many lawyers whose “technical” skills provide no differentiation. Granted, a small number advise on “bet the company” stuff but, let’s face it, Pfizer doesn’t take a tilt at AstraZeneca every day. The overwhelming majority of work is churning stuff (often failing to spot opportunities as Tim Nightingale mentioned). So, firms facing increasing competition need to up their game. This applies to any business. There are numerous and mostly articulate comments about how BD work WITH lawyers (and, crucially, HR, L&D, Finance and IT, who have been surprisingly absent from this debate) to help differentiate, improve processes, build business etc, so I won’t add to that. I have also never bought this crap about non-lawyers being second class citizens. Sadly, some people do. If there’s no mutual respect, get out; you’re in the wrong place. On a lighter note, for every condescending view on BD there’s an equal one for lawyers. Ever circulated a strategic plan or crucial pitch for insightful feedback? “Can we change the font, please?” “Not sure about using a split infinitive.” I have also worked with wonderful, bright and commercially savvy lawyers. And yes, there are some pretty poor marketing people out there – I have worked with a few – who have no understanding of how lawyers work. But don’t let that tarnish everyone. For any patronising private practice lawyers: spare a thought for your in-house brethren. Fee-earner to fee-burner? The shunned red-tape department often by-passed quicker than Usain Bolt on steroids? And, heaven forfend, what about reporting to someone in HR or Finance? Finally, a little perspective: Monday’s FT carried a piece on Bakers’ record breaking revenue. It was a tiny little piece, the rest of the page dedicated to bigger news. The category heading? “Support Services.”.We all work for someone. Reply Link Anonymous 21 August 2014 at 13:04 Amazing. Lawyers trying to belittle their colleagues in Marketing and BD. Those same people in Marketing and BD always having to defend their very presence. We’re all on the same team, each individual adding their particular piece to the puzzle. No wonder the legal industry is so far behind others in terms of Marketing and BD when there is such a lack of understanding, respect and cooperation. Reply Link Name Email Cancel reply Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.