Few managing partners care how technology works but all of them care if it works. Given this dependency, IT procurement is now right up there with staff recruitment as a mission critical success factor for law firms and yet far less rigour tends to be applied to the commercial, regulatory and contractual issues involved in this key area of business risk.
Last week’s Cheltenham Festival was the highlight of the jump season calendar and it got me thinking. If the horses running in the Gold Cup were in fact after-the-event insurance providers and all the punters in the stands were law firms, which ‘horse’ is the most likely to come out on top?
Your firm’s 2015 marketing plan should now be in full swing. But if it doesn’t have the word ‘digital’ in it, you need to have a serious word with yourselves. A big headline from 2014 came from Google, who revealed that 35% of all legal services searches are now done from mobile devices.
The Legal Services Board has approved the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s proposals for changes to the CPD system, with hours-based CPD requirements for solicitors set to become a thing of the past. I believe this presents a great opportunity for the profession to raise the bar through a culture of learning, although it will demand a significant change in attitude for some.
Many commentators are voicing their opinion and there does appear to be a growing consensus that 2015 is the year the devastating side of LASPO will fully show its face. Legal Futures last month reported a prediction of impending carnage in the personal injury (PI) market and it may well be true, but are there avenues that can be taken to mitigate the destructive nature of cash drying up on small-to-medium sized PI practices.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has never been overly keen on the Solicitors Regulation Authority having its own powers to rebuke and fine solicitors – that should be the job of an independent tribunal, the message has been – and the SDT has been vociferous (particularly by its standards) in opposing SRA plans to increase the current £2,000 fine limit.
The process of digitisation continues to expand, and as a consequence the link between physical geographic location and the ability to adequately set rules that apply to individuals and property is being eradicated.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s high-profile move away from the annual minimum 16 hour CPD requirement has been well documented and most in the profession will by now be aware that the change will be phased in from this spring and fully implemented by 1 November 2016. But does this really mean the end of (continuing) professional development training for solicitors?
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” – John Wanamaker. Many businesses spend exorbitant sums of money on marketing their services, but suffer from John Wanamaker’s problem: they simply don’t know what made their customers choose them.
This Valentine’s Day, will you be searching for that special someone to send your heart all a flutter? Well, don’t waste your time. What you need is that certain wonderful boy or girl who in no way impinges on your ability to comply with your regulatory obligations.