Mental Health Awareness Week – 13 May 2019

The profession is not getting any less stressful any time soon.

Metal health and wellbeing of staff are crucial considerations for any employer and many firms are running initiatives this week to promote these important issues.

Encouraging mindfulness, meditation and yoga all have their place.

But at Kinch Robinson we focus on helping fee earners and support staff change their working practices to reduce stress and improve work life balance.

  • Our new Legal Project Management courses for trainees and qualified fee earners provide training in a critically important skill that helps fee earners deliver great results for clients and improves your firm’s profitability
  • Our ‘Regain Control’ sessions provide masses of practical suggestions to help you get on top of your work, from dealing with conflicting priorities to smooth and effective delegation
  • And if you want help with understanding law firm finances, improving your writing skills or increasing you reading speed we can help with that too

Call Kath Kinch on 0114 273 8300 for more information.

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Posted by News Desk

Social media for lawyers – e-learning

social media image

Social media platforms are powerful tools for engaging with current and prospective clients. However many lawyers are nervous and confused about to how to use them effectively.

This introductory course into the two key social media platforms used by lawyers – Twitter & LinkedIn - will help you to engage more confidently and use them to enhance your personal reputation and that of your firm.

This course will take 30 - 45 minutes to complete.

Objectives

 As a result of completing this course you will:

  • understand the benefits of engaging in social media;
  • have the skills to engage with social media confidently;
  • take into account professional ethics when engaging with social media;
  • be able to differentiate between good and bad practice;
  • know how to compose an engaging tweet; and
  • know how to improve your LinkedIn profile.

Social media for lawyers course

Posted by News Desk in News

Billing – Remove the Pain and Make More Money. It’s not difficult!

The word “Billing” tends to strike dread in the hearts of lawyers who view it as a necessary evil.  Other professions view it as an opportunity to convey value and strengthen client relationships.  Sounds easy?  Well, actually it is if we adopt established Best Practices.  David Ellis, a former billing Partner at PwC for 10 years, shares some insights into successful and painless billing.

Firstly, let’s be frank about the comparisons with other professional services providers like the big 4.  Lawyers tend to write off 20% of time on the tab before raising the bill. They bill on average 3 months - and more - after the start of a matter (and frequently, only at the end of a matter). They  regularly have uncomfortable discussions with clients about the final bill and end up writing off further amounts.   The big 4 just don’t operate like that at all.

Why?  Largely because they have adopted well established Best Practices to their Billing Disciplines.

And while we are at it, let’s get rid of a one urban myth.  Yes, our work is uncertain – we don’t know exactly what will happen during a matter.  However that is no different from these firms.  Far more importantly, it is no different from our clients!

So what are these Best Practices that make Billing easier and improve collections?  Here are 5 unerring Must Do’s

1.       Tell the Client how and when you are going to Bill.  State it clearly in the Engagement - and then do it!!  This sets expectations, is professional and gets you on the front foot.

2.     Set a Budget for the job and manage to it.  Budgeting Pricing.  Set your colleagues a time / value budget and manage to it.  This is how our clients operate their projects and they expect us to do so too.  Yes, things change during a matter but we can also adjust our approach too (often in agreement with the client). So manage the client too.

3.       Bill Monthly. Review WIP and bill the client.  Again, this sets expectations, shows them we are operating professionally and alerts them (and us!) to and changes.  Not least it improves cashflow for the firm – and worth remembering at appraisal time!  Variations to this principle include stage payments, milestone billing and so on.  But don’t wait until the end!

4.       Talk to the Client about the Bill.   Yes, it sounds obvious but we generally shy away from it.  Ironically, it is invariably on the mind of the client.  Ideally a simple comment of “we are on time and on budget” is enough (and we should be if we have followed the above Best Practices J)

5.       Let your Finance department take the strain.  The lawyer’s role in the billing cycle is to review and make decisions.  It is Finance’s role to execute those decisions.  So let the finance professionals prepare, adjust, issue, and collect the bills.  They should also deal with first line queries and chasing of payment.  That is their skill after all!

Do all of this and you will have happier clients and an easier and more lucrative life.  Told you it was easy.

p.s. (There’s a sixth Best Practice too.  Bill Fixed Prices.  Don’t hourly bill.  No other professional service does it, clients don’t do it, it is grossly time consuming to review (pun intended), and focuses on inputs not outputs.  Time to join the 21st century)

Posted by News Desk in News

Legal Project Management: what do clients really expect?

Our Legal Project Management (LPM) course helps lawyers apply best practice principles of project management to the effective delivery of legal services. This new course has been developed and delivered in conjunction with OMC Partners, specialists in legal operational efficiency, and is a must for all those grappling with the challenges of meeting client expectations and winning more work.

Why LPM?

In an era where margins are continually under pressure, and clients demand increasingly sophisticated service levels and greater cost certainty, strong project management skills are essential for any modern lawyer. Law firms have much to learn from the likes of the Big 4 accounting firms, leading consultants such as McKinsey and Accenture, and other professionals who have successfully applied project management approaches to great effect for decades.

LPM does more than just help lawyers to manage their work productively and profitably. LPM ensures they understand and meet their clients’ objectives, deliver engagements on time and to budget, and communicate the value of the services provided. Done well, clients will keep coming back for more!

Who is the course for?

This course helps lawyers from all disciplines deliver services using a consistent methodology that captures all the benefits of LPM Best Practice. There are 4 modules covering:

1. Understanding what your clients want

2. Planning work

3. Working the plan

4. Delivering value

Free Briefing sessions

To help lawyers and law firm managers understand exactly what this course entails and the business benefits to be derived, we are running several Legal Project Management Briefings throughout the UK over the coming weeks. To book a place, please contact Kath@KinchRobinson.com

LEEDS 27th July 2017, 8.00-9.30am @ Leeds University Business School

MANCHESTER 28th September 2017, 5.00-6.30pm @ Berwin Leighton Paisner

BRISTOL 4th October 2017, 12.30-2.00pm @ RPC

LONDON 12th October 2017, 5.00-6.30pm @ Berwin Leighton Paisner

BIRMINGHAM 2nd November 2017, 5.00-6.30pm @ Shakespeare Martineau

Related blogs on the topic of LPM

Better Engagement Letters by Peter Kinch

Don't just do a "job" well - meet your client's business needs by Matthew Peacock

Posted by News Desk in News

Happy Easter everyone!

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The 'super exam' just got a step closer

The Legal Services Board has just approved the SRA's application to amend its arrangements for authorisation. This is the first step towards introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

The SRA needs LSB approval for further rule changes before it can launch the new route to qualifying as a solicitor. It is likely that the SRA will apply for this in 2019.

The objective of the change is to reduce the cost of qualification and open up access to the profession. The SRA are proposing a two-part centrally set exam, rather than individual educational institutions setting their own exams.

To find out more about the proposed changes, take a look at these links:

Education and training: Testing time - Law Society Gazette

Legal Services Board News

 

Posted by News Desk in News