Law firms are looking closely at business planning and efficiency according to delegates at this year’s NatWest Legal Sector Conferences.
The series of free regional conferences, held across Edinburgh, Leeds, Coventry, Manchester, London and Bristol in October, are in their fifth year and the first held with new partner mma digital.
Ahead of the series, 338 participants took part in a survey, listing their predictions for the year as well as business behaviour and performance.
According to the survey, 89% of firms have business plans in place with 79% also having a detailed time recording policy.
Outlook was also largely positive, with 65% of firms predicting fee income to grow over the next year and 45% believing that margins will improve.
The conferences looked at how law firms can exploit new channels to market, improve profitability and partner performance and deliver business strategy via alternative funding structures.
Steve Arundale, head of professionals at NatWest, said: “It’s great to see a largely positive outlook for the coming year, although some predictions were slightly down on the previous year.
“It’s key that law firms are concentrating on operating in the most efficient way, and accurate time recording and business planning is a vital step towards achieving this.”
Delegates heard from expert speakers including: Dez Derry of mmadigital, Stephen Gold of Stephen Gold Consulting, Peter Scott of Peter Scott Consulting and Colum Smith from McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited.
Dez Derry, CEO of mmadigital said: “In 2015 it is crucial that law firms start utilising alternative methods online to win new business and secure their future. Digital marketing plays a key part in this, so it was fantastic to collaborate with NatWest and have the opportunity to speak to hundreds of firms about what they can do to get ahead in a highly competitive market.”