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Continuing our monthly theme of business development for law firms, this week we’re focusing on law firms that have done it right. If you’re still wondering what the difference between business development and marketing are, then read last week’s article on the subject. In it we mention that a BD project doesn’t have to be a huge move into a new sector, or opening a new office, it could be a smaller project to bring in more sales.

But…having said that…sometimes business development is about a big and bold plan to create a whole new market niche, or find a whole new client base. As law firms continue to try and find new ways to grow and attract new clients, here are five brilliant business development projects by UK and global law firms that are great inspiration…

1. – The Peterson Firm

Sponsored by The Peterson Firm, a Washington D.C. law firm, is an informative guide for people who were harmed by a prescription drug or injured by a medical device. The team at The Peterson Firm offered their expert legal knowledge to help determine if clients’ circumstances make for a legal case.

The website doesn’t look like a law firm site, more of a WebMD or Wiki page, and is a font of information about drugs and devices, current lawsuits and FDA recalls. They also offer drug and health information, news, advice for drug addiction, resources for those seeking help and a video library about Medicare and Medicaid.

It is not obvious that the site is sponsored by a law firm but on the About Us page you can clearly see how The Peterson Firm benefits from the sponsorship. The team is used to educate users and should a user wish to speak to a lawyer about their case, The Peterson Firm are involved in the process. This is a great example of leverage a new platform to bring in a new client base.


2. MoFo2Go – Morrison & Foerster

A slightly old business development strategy now but still a good one, Morrison & Foerster launched the award-winning MoFo2Go app in 2010. It might seem a little odd for a law firm to have an app but Morrison & Foerster show why it is, in fact, a fantastic idea. The app offers bios on attorneys, easy links to call or email them, firm addresses and firm news. These attorney bio pages can be organised by name, practice area, by office or even by law school.

Click the location of an office and the app is linked with Google Maps. Red pins show travel locations, green pins highlight recommended nearby restaurants and blue for recommended nearby hotels. All useful stuff.

The MoFo2Go app also includes a section for law firm and tech-related news as well as a simple, addictive maze game. While many may argue both aren’t necessary to the app, they are reason enough to open and use the law firm branded app and instill a reminder of Morrison & Foerster’s name. The reason we are highlighting this as a great BD project is that Business Development is about bringing in new business, and the app is aimed at targeting a newer, younger client base.

3. Ashurst Advance – Ashurst

Now onto a very recent project, law firm (and legal #TOTW) Ashurst has launched Ashurst Advance, a new team which will be focused on developing legal services innovations for clients. The team will be performing research and development activities whilst examining how lawyers can improve client service through a range of factors including a better use of technology and more efficient processes.

They believe this new dedicated team will bring significant advantage to clients by ensuring that work of the highest quality is delivered by the right people. Work that is supported by cutting edge technologies and robust process.

It is good to see research and development, the core of any successful business, being given prominence in the legal industry where it often gets missed. Again, a completely new market place, and client base for Ashurst, which is sure to increase revenue and profits – that’s was BD is all about!

Resoruce centre

4. Legal Services Centre – Allen & Overy

The Legal Services Centre in Belfast has been running since 2012 and has since become a huge success. Considered an important component of A&O’s advanced delivery toolkit, it acts as a business support centre that enables the law firm to deliver their expertise to their clients through a combination of resourcing and technology.

The centre has grown rapidly, and now comprises of over 75 legal professionals and associates who work alongside A&O offices across the world on a range of document-based matters. The LSC helps clients analyse high volumes of material, high quality work with no multiple provider risk, an intelligent use of technology and the guarantee of continuity and institutional experience.

The integration with A&O Offices mean that the law firm is receiving many new clients not necessarily in the ways of a classic legal practice. The project has been a huge success for Allen & Overy over the past four years. A great example of a bold office opening.

Allan and Overy

5. Cyber Risk Services – Hogan Lovells

Here we have another more recent business development project, this time by law firm Hogan Lovells. The newly formed Cyber Risk Services team is a dedicated unit of technical and risk professionals who can provide clients with: “cybersecurity program development, risk management, incident preparedness, breach response and investigations counsel, regulatory enforcement, litigation, and crisis management assistance.”

Basically, to put it in a nut-shell, this firm has cashed in on the growing problem of cyber-crime, that will only continue to be a problem (and therefore will continue to generate business)

The team has been developed to work closely with the law firm working on projects such as program development, incident and crisis response, regulatory compliance and training and awareness.

The business development project was initiated by customer demand for the firm’s blend of legal, technical and management capabilities. The new project allows the law firm to work with technical and risk professionals to offer clients the comprehensive support they are searching for in cybersecurity.