A staid profession is a dead profession, a solicitor turned high street entrepreneur has warned, telling lawyers that they need to change the way they do things.
However, Sahar Hashemi – the one-time City solicitor who went on to found Coffee Republic – said law firms should not panic about cheaper players coming into the market; instead they should focus on their existing special relationships with clients, something the new entrants cannot compete with.
Ms Hashemi – the headline speaker at the forthcoming Legal Futures Conference, The LEX Factor  – said it is vital for law firms to put themselves in the shoes of their clients. “In the past you had a relationship with one lawyer – it was hard to find another. But now you are bombarded with advice via Google, Twitter and the rest. People want more than before and lawyers have to adapt to attract and retain them. Doing just the basics is no longer enough”
Dismissing the notion that lawyers are not innovators – “it’s something we’ve all got in us” – she explained that “it’s about not doing the same thing we have done every day but thinking of new ways, new approaches”.
She explained: “We must never get complacent. We operate too much in our comfort zone – we need to get out and practise more creativity in what we can offer customers/clients. What works today won’t work tomorrow. We have to adapt and find our unique selling point to survive.”