April 8, 2016

What is the big issue facing law firms in 2016?

I was recently asked what I thought was the big issue facing law firms at the moment.  Our client base tends to be law firms with up to 100 lawyers in them and for these, the big topic that’s dominating conversations at the moment is regulation and compliance. This was first triggered when The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) implemented outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) in October 2011. OFR was a move away […]
March 18, 2016

Lawyers will not be the owners of future law firms – but they could fulfil their dreams

The Law Society has spent some time looking at The Future of Legal Services, but has missed some of the most important changes that are happening now and will continue to have impact for the next decade. Here I want to cover the issues and tensions that we see law firms struggling with now and offer a few thoughts on the impact of these. 1. Lawyers are not the leaders […]
February 26, 2016

What is the future of legal services? And four key steps for now

  In January, the Law Society published its 64-page report into The Future of Legal Services. This report covers the macro – globalisation, impact of technology on behaviours and changing buyer behaviours – to the competition that solicitors are facing – from the Bar, DIY and accountants to unregulated providers – and then the opportunities for solicitors. While it is essential that industry bodies should help their members understand the […]
February 14, 2016

Will artificial intelligence kill law firms?

Artificial intelligence. In the last year hardly a week has gone by without a sensational headline on AI wiping out jobs , an AI film appearing (Ex Machina being the latest) or some of the world’s biggest hitters (Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk to name a few) predicting AI could supersede humans. Attention is now turning to law firms and I want to disagree with some of the […]
January 29, 2016

Which part of your law firm is the most profitable?

  Which of your departments makes the most profit?  Most firms have one or two teams who appear to be on the crest of a wave, bringing in heady deals with big figures attached to them.  But do they actually translate into profit?  Could it be that the ‘steady as she goes’ solicitors are actually making more money than their glamorous colleagues? When we start working with a law firm […]
January 22, 2016

How can you improve a lawyer’s billing hours?

The biggest problem in law firms (in my view) is that most lawyers went into law to solve client problems – many passionately believing in the law to protect the vulnerable. New lawyers generally struggle with the whole commerciality of what a law firm is about.  They want to spend as much time as is needed to ensure a client gets the best result – but the reality is that […]
December 10, 2015

How can law firms secure growth in ‘the age of the client’?

The balance of power in the client/lawyer relationship is shifting, with knock on implications for law firm sustainability. To be one of the “fifty survivors” in the long term, law firms need to understand and meet client demands while also maintaining a keen eye on profit margins. This year’s LexisNexis Bellwether report ‘The age of the client’ examined how independent law firms and sole practitioners are responding to a new […]
December 10, 2015

Old firm, New thinking

Thomson Snell & Passmore, the world’s oldest law firm, becomes the newest addition to a growing list of top 200 law firms adopting the katchr Business Intelligence and Management Information solution. The firm will be working with Katchr to deliver performance dashboards to all fee earners along with automated management reports and detailed profitability analysis for the management team. Katchr Managing Director Graham Moore comments “We’re really pleased to be invited to work […]
November 20, 2015

How to prepare your law firm for a merger or acquisition

Since the economic recovery began, confidence in ‘investment for growth’ strategies has led to an unprecedented number of mergers in the legal sector. Managers of small to medium sized law firms now face relentless pressures, both from competition and from clients demanding more for less. With a focus on ‘bigger is better’, M&A has often been seen as a quick solution, consolidating assets to build stronger and more sustainable businesses. […]
November 12, 2015

What is a good law firm management information pack?

Let’s start with what it’s not – and this is something I see quite a lot of – a thick pile of printed reports containing huge amounts of financial detail. Peter Drucker, the “founder of modern management” once said, “The fewer data needed, the better the information. And an overload of information, that is, anything much beyond what is truly needed, leads to information blackout. It does not enrich, but […]
October 17, 2015

Data driven decision making in law firms: useful driver for growth or driving you to despair?

Last year, Google confirmed that switching the shade of blue used on advertising links in Gmail and Google search earned the company an extra $200m a year in revenue. How did Google know this? Their advertising revenue data proved it. Using the method known as A/B user testing, different Google users were shown different versions of the same advert (each with a different shade of blue), and the impact on […]
September 24, 2015

Law firm managers: who to look out for at London Law Expo 2015

  On Tuesday 13th October, Europe’s largest conference and exhibition for the legal profession returns to London. The renowned London Law Expo will bring together over 50 exhibitors, 50 leading presenters and 2,000 expected visitors. Four stages will host keynote presentations, panel discussions, knowledge sessions, live debates, round table sessions, exhibitions and interactive demonstrations to offer legal practice management a leading edge in today’s modern marketplace. With a one-day event of this scale, […]
August 27, 2015

Why law firm management information needs specialists (and why PMS vendors are not specialist enough)

Earlier this year I shared our insights on how to create the best law firm management MIS, built up over many years of working with SME legal firms to develop bespoke management information systems. Through this process, we have honed in on everything that a law firm MIS needs to do to give practice managers everything they need to run their firm efficiently, productively and profitably. In the article, I […]
August 24, 2015

The Katchr Team Continues to Grow

To continue our focus on bringing clients the best possible solutions for management information and business intelligence, the Katchr team has been strengthened again. Following a year as a placement student in 2013/14, Andrew Blondeau, having graduated with a first class honours degree, has now joined us full time in our software development team. Managing Director Graham Moore comments: “Andrew is already well known to the team and he brings a […]
August 17, 2015

What does the NatWest 2015 Financial Benchmarking report reveal about which law firms will remain sustainable?

NatWest recently published its annual 2015 Financial Benchmarking Report for law firms, which details what NatWest observes as “a remarkable improvement in the health of the legal market.” I’ve just returned from a holiday, during which I finally had time to sit down, read and digest the report – and it has some interesting recommendations for law firms on how to make the most of the upturn and remain sustainable. […]
July 21, 2015

When digital dashboards are a bad idea: and how to redesign them for MIS

Digital dashboard design disasters are a particular gripe of mine. In my recent post Lawyers, good with words, not so good with numbers? I highlighted the issue of poor digital dashboard design – and how many fail to deliver value to some (or all) of their users. A good management information system should present useful information in a way that is clear and easy to understand, but many MIS systems […]
June 19, 2015

Does your law firm need a quarter inch drill?

  “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” This famous quote by Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt has informed marketers’ thinking for years. People want a particular benefit from a product rather the product itself, so the solution (product design) should be based around the most effective way to deliver that benefit. The same is true for legal business intelligence or management […]
June 12, 2015

Harold Benjamin: how partnering with Katchr is building profitability

Katchr client Harold Benjamin was featured in the May edition of Legal Practice Management magazine. A lot of SME law firms are still quite revenue-focused. We worked with Harold Benjamin to develop a management information system that also takes costs into account. Fee earners can therefore immediately see how their work impacts on firm profitability, and can be more responsive as a result. In this article, the team from Harold Benjamin […]
June 2, 2015

Life after death for Elite Envision

Elite may have announced the end of life for Envision, their former Pilgrim / Lawsoft practice management system, but apparently there is still life in the “old dog” yet. Katchr, the leading supplier of Business Intelligence and Management Information solutions to UK mid-market law firms, has just announced that yet another Envision user has opted to purchase the Katchr law firm dashboard and BI solution. Anthony Collins Solicitors of Birmingham becomes […]
June 1, 2015

Building continuous improvement processes into SME law firms

The process of continuous improvement is at the heart of all modern lean (or agile) business thinking. This ongoing process of ‘change; measurement; change’ is important for all business processes and across all industries – but particularly so for SME law firms, who are competing in an increasingly tough market. In this post, I’ll explore why continuous improvement is vital for law firm management – and how SME law can […]