Two leading and long-established law firm membership groups have joined forces to provide their law firm clients with access to increased support in the post-Legal Services Act environment.
360 Legal Group, which specialises in law firm management, structure and merger, will provide acquisition and merger support to member firms of LawNet, a mutual and member-owned group which comprises independent law firms with between six and 39 partners and operates the legal market’s largest professional indemnity insurance scheme.
LawNet will reciprocate by providing 360 Legal Group members and clients with support in quality, risk management and specialist training. Both sets of members will benefit from greater access to a large pool of potential merger partners, increased training, conference, event and networking opportunities, and a vast choice of consultancy services.
Whilst both organisations will remain totally independent in their operations, they will be looking at ways to share resources, services and contacts to the benefit of their members.
The organisations serve different audiences – with 360 Legal Group primarily working with progressive small to medium-sized law firms and LawNet working with many heavyweight independent firms – but both agree that there is huge potential to work more closely.
John Thomas, chief executive of LawNet, says: “We are different organisations but both aim to ensure our members stay ahead of the competition, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and enhance profitability and we believe we can be stronger together. Working collaboratively, whilst retaining our individual identities, ensures our members enjoy the best of both worlds – the membership benefits and support they have always enjoyed, but with access to a greater level of contacts and services.”
360 Legal Group chief executive Viv Williams adds: “LawNet has built its reputation through the exacting standards placed on member firms, and is well aligned with our values here at 360 Legal Group, to be innovative, ambitious and forward-thinking.
“As the legal sector consolidates there will be merger, ABS and private equity opportunities for many. Others are looking to raise their game and build their business around ‘Brand Solicitor’. By sharing our expertise, knowledge and best practice, we can offer an unrivalled level of support to help all members achieve their ambitions.”
Benefits to members are already being realised with LawNet firms taking part in 360 Legal Group’s merger and consolidation summit in February. The organisations are now focusing on new packages for those seeking to buy, sell or merge.