Help us help you - what do you know about your clients?

Written by Vivienne Corcoran Monday, 21 May 2018 21:43

In our many years of working with professional service firms, one of the areas of most interest is how to develop stronger relationships with clients.  In every country and discipline we have worked with, there is a gap between what firms know about their clients and what they want to know. Rather than us telling people what they should know about their clients, we have started asking them - what do you want to know about your clients and what do you actually know?  There is always a way to find out this information, but first we need to know what we are looking for.

So please help us help you.  By completing this short easy survey, you can help us build a clearer picture of what professionals know, and what they want to know about their clients.  If you fill in your details at the end of the survey we would be happy to send you details, not just about what other professionals around the world know and want to know, but more importantly, what you can do to find out.



Structured for Profit

Written by Vivienne Corcoran Monday, 05 March 2018 10:02

Pitcher Partners recently announced the results of their fourth annual Legal Firm Survey. The survey is designed to gain further industry insight and to help firms make informed decisions during times of rapid change. What was particularly interesting was to see the relationship between structiue, decision making and profit in legal firms.  Having received the greatest ever response, I am delighted to share the Pitcher Partners 2017 Legal Firm Survey Report with you.

Download this file (2018_legal-survey_national_180226_e.pdf)Pitcher Partners Legal Firm Survey 2017[Survey of 250+ legal firms in Australia]3725 Kb

Getting started after the break

Written by Vivienne Corcoran Wednesday, 24 January 2018 15:10

This is the time of year when many of us have time to do some thinking - the challenge is making yourself think in a meaningful way.  This is what worked for me:
1.  I wiped the slate clean - literally.  I painted one of the walls in my office with blackboard paint and I use it for work in progress, ideas, brain dumps, lists etc.  By the end of the year it was crammed full of crossings out, scribbles and things left undone.  After taking a photo (as a backup), I cleaned the board completely.  This is such a liberating thing to do, I feel like I have a whole year of possibilities rather than a list of unfinished tasks.
2.  I cleared the backlog.  My list of unfinished tasks I either finished or decided they were clearly not important.  Projects that might come off one day were followed up or discarded.
3.  I got realistic.  The reading I had not done was, like the projects, either not interesting enough or not worth my while.  I shredded copies of things I can find on my computer, read a few things that looked good and recycled the rest.
4.  I themed up.  Just as I often do with clients, I decided on a theme for the year - Engage, educate, excite.  2018 for me will be a year when I engage - with the world, with people, with ideas, when I educate - others about how to grow their businesses, myself to fill in the gaps and get the brain firing and excite - I do not need to work just for the money, I want to work on things and with people that are exciting and excited.
5.  I built in balance rather than leaving it to chance.  My board now has the major headings to match my theme - Learning - as I start my journey of international education, Ideas - so nothing gets forgotten and New Directions - possibilities that present themselves or I go looking for.  Importantly then there are two "To Do" columns - one For Others and one For Me, to make sure I look after myself and my business as well as others.
So - whether it is a giant blackboard, whiteboard or a piece of paper, when you wipe your slate clean what will you put on it for this year?

What Partners of Law Firms think about...

Written by Vivienne Corcoran Friday, 02 June 2017 14:41

I was privileged late last month to have a great roundtable of senior partners from law firms in Sydney where we presented the results of a recent survey we worked on.  Great discussion around the table (and over a few glasses), here is what they had to say on:

  • Fees
    • Alternative pricing models are considered when it is work that you can easily assess the value of
    • Even if they use "alternative fee methods", they still record time to see whether they are making money
    • Not using timesheets can attract staff but the reality is that most firms are still using the timesheet method
    • Timesheets are used for billing as well as to monitor staff activity
    • Litigation clients are coming back to the hourly billing model, fixed price is too hard
    • Fixed price often costs firms on the first job but then it is worked through for next jobs
    • Volume work is the most likely to be fixed price
    • Few people use the term “value based billing”, they prefer “alternative fee arrangements”
  • Staff
    • Less graduates and more outsourcing is a possibility
    • Contractors are used in insurance practices
    • Increased requests from younger staff for formal and informal L+D i.e. Mentoring and career path conversations
    • High expectation from staff that the firm will help them go in the “fast lane”


  • Technology
    • Clients are embracing technology which is forcing firms to embrace it
    • Younger staff are bringing in both ideas and the technology


  • Succession
    • Finding new partners is difficult as there is not much interest in becoming a partner

If you are interested in more feedback or being involved in conversations like this, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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