Defendant personal injury firm BC Legal is launching an unusual “client knowledge hub” in the City next month, which will provide a range of free services but “very little fee-earning”.
BC Legal, which specialises in occupational disease litigation, said the hub would offer training, software demonstrations and free access to meeting rooms, a roof terrace, a gym and a hotel.
“This is primarily a reward for our existing clients,” said Chris McCrudden, business development solicitor at BC Legal.
“It is part of a different way of looking at things. It’s not about lawyers working in offices with a few meeting rooms. This is about asking clients what they want us to do.
“If we create goodwill through marketing, somewhere down the line business will be generated. If not, we will be looking after our existing clients. There will be very little fee-earning. The hub is not finance-driven. It is goodwill-driven.”
BC Legal, which opened for business in 2013, has offices in Southend-on-Sea, Ipswich, Leeds and Birmingham. Mr McCrudden said a new office would be opening in Cardiff on Monday.
“Traditionally lawyers keep knowledge to themselves and charge large amounts of money for it,” he said. “That’s not a real client service. They should be empowering clients so the client can give instructions in the way in which they want to.
“If a lawyer is the only one who knows how to progress the matter, how can they be truly instructed?”
Mr McCrudden said the hub would offer ‘lunch and learn sessions’, case clinics and free access to tablets or PCs. “Clients can bring in anything they like. They can choose a case or multiple cases. If they want to formally instruct us, they can do.
“Most of the work we do will be training and seminars. We might do a bit of fee-earning.”
Mr McCrudden said the firm was launching new software next month, in time for the launch of the knowledge hub, which it believed could “revolutionise” the handling of noise-induced hearing loss (NHL) claims.
“At the moment the claims keep rolling in and clients deal with them as best they can,” Mr McCrudden said. The software, free to clients, would indicate whether they should settle cases and generate documents. “The new process will be quicker and far more efficient. It will save clients money.”
Mr McCrudden added that, with 70 fee-earners, BC Legal had one of the biggest occupational disease teams in the UK.