Exclusive: ‘Simplify the Law’ enters the fray in latest bid to build national legal network

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By Legal Futures

12 October 2011

Evident's founders: Jonathan Brewer (l) and Jean-Paul Camelbeek

Another new franchise will start targeting law firms next week under the brand ‘Simplify the Law’, Legal Futures can reveal.

Simplify the Law’s first major milestone is to create a national network of law firms with a combined turnover of £200m.

It is pitching to practices of two to 20 partners, with turnovers from both private client and commercial work of £2m-10m. The company behind the brand, Evident Legal, has identified 440 firms which may fit with the franchise’s criteria and will begin contacting them next week.

The key message is that Simplify the Law can help firms punch above their weight in the fight against “brand-savvy big hitters”.

Co-founder Jonathan Brewer, a former City lawyer and senior LexisNexis executive, said Simplify the Law would use the quality of client service to differentiate itself from other law firms, with a strong focus on client communication. Clear and proactive communication will be the difference between success and failure for law firms, he argued, and will persuade consumers to use them rather than online legal services.

“The time for introspection is over and someone needs to start thinking about the service to the end consumer,” he said.

The aim is to target those in the ABC1 socio-economic group, both as individuals and business owners, because research shows that they are the biggest consumer purchasers of legal services and value reputation, expertise, speed and proximity over price.

The Simplify the Law logo

Mr Brewer said there are three key elements to the franchise offering, for which firms will pay a percentage of turnover: the brand and supporting advertising; lead generation, which he emphasised would include direct marketing and not just search engine optimisation; and an “operating support service” to help firms drive down costs, such as through group buying and new technology.

He insisted that while other law firm brands offered two of these elements, none offer all three.

Mr Brewer set up Evident – which is self-funded – with IT specialist Jean-Paul Camelbeek, who led the automation of legal services for a major bank.

The team also includes former Osborne Clarke chief executive and senior Integreon executive Chris Bull; Jenny Powell, former head of procurement at Eversheds; Ashley Tott, former director of new business development for Specsavers; and senior staff from branding agency Thinkfarm.

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6 Responses to “Exclusive: ‘Simplify the Law’ enters the fray in latest bid to build national legal network”

  1. If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then QualitySolicitors must be pretty happy with these various copycat models! It is hard to see how new start-ups can catch up with them given that they already have however many hundred locations.

  2. John Starkey on October 12th, 2011 at 8:19 am
  3. Welcome and good luck to Simplify The Law. The holisitc approach referred to in the article of lead generation, brand exploitation and support services/buying club are precisley what small to medium law firms need and precisley what HighStreetLawyer.com consider to be the cornerstones of its brand offering to member firms.

  4. Gary Yantin on October 12th, 2011 at 1:08 pm
  5. There certainly is a lot of jostling for position at the moment. I wish them all the best.

    With so many new franchises coming to market I feel it will take a while for the dust to settle.

    With all the changes recently it is vital that from a clients perspective approaching legal services does not become confusing but and that ultimately aim should be to provide clients with very transparent quality legal service.

  6. Lee Taylor on October 13th, 2011 at 11:48 am
  7. Capturing client enquiries at a reduced cost has to be the central benefit these branded or non-brand services must deliver to firms. Our research has shown a wide variety of approaches and benefits for solicitors firms.
    Have a look at Legal Futures article. http://www.legalfutures.co.uk/practice-points/marketing-pr/qs-generating-100000-leads-a-month-but-many-enquiry-services-fail-says-report

  8. Alastair Moyes on October 14th, 2011 at 9:55 am
  9. Isn’t the word “franchise” and a “network of national law firms” a contradiction?

    Are the firms in this network going to “rebrand” as “Simplify the Law – London” or complete rename themselves?

    To me the word “franchise” implies control, it implies quality control, it implies “doing it this way” and I can’t see that happening with an established set of partners.


  10. David Gilroy on October 14th, 2011 at 12:42 pm
  11. Very interesting developments. Let’s hope the consumer is better off as a result!

  12. Simon Tupman on November 16th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

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Legal Futures Blog

Joint (ad)ventures in the legal sector

Nigel Wallis lo res

We all know that nothing in life is certain. As the actor, director and philosopher Clint Eastwood once said: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” He also said he’d tried being reasonable and didn’t like it. They should teach this kind of philosophy in law school. One thing in life is reasonably certain though. If you’re a law firm worth your salt, at some point you will be approached by another entity (most probably a work introducer) with a whizzy idea to ‘partner’ with you to ‘help you accelerate your growth’. In commercial speak this means, ‘we’d like to keep feeding you work but we’d also like to share in your profits’. The arrangement may be pitched to you as a joint venture – a win-win no less.

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