Law firms waste money on poor marketing according to survey

Law firms have miscalculated their marketing strategies and are wasting vast amounts of money on them, according to a new survey.

The report, produced by corporate branding specialists Springpoint, also reveals that there is little differentiation between the top six law firms and that business is dependant on the people and the relationships that clients have with them. It concludes that if a relevant partner leaves so will the work.

Another conclusion drawn from the research, based on qualitative research among in-house lawyers, found that glossy brochures are a waste, except in relation to graduate recruitment, and that clients actually desire seminars, staff instruction and specialist market briefings.

Fiona Gilmour, who carried out the research, says: “There is a place for brochures. Something succinct about a practice is welcome, but the lavish stuff produced by many top firms is unnecessary.”

She singles out Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Norton Rose as firms that were praised by the interviewees. “They have got greater depth of resources. Most law firms are only starting to develop their thinking in this area.”

The survey follows on from another carried out by Wheeler Associates, first revealed by The Lawyer (1 November 1999), which showed that law firms were wasting millions of pounds a year on entries in legal directories. The top 20 firms are understood to spend up to £100,000 a year on such publications.