New research from Mills & Reeve shows resilience is key in rapidly changing world

Published on
3 min read

In-depth research gives a telling insight into what clients want from a law firm in the future and, that while innovation and technological developments are expected, strong relationships remain key.

Building Resilience: what clients want from their law firm contains the views of 88 key clients and contacts and has helped to shape Mills & Reeve’s new 2025 strategy. Key themes to emerge include:

  • Law firms come into their own when they understand how to apply the law commercially and will lose panel places if they are not able to do so
  • Levels of scrutiny will increase over the next few years and law firms need to be able to provide objective ways to evaluate their work and improve how they articulate the value of their offering
  • A time lag in the development of regulation means some organisations are self-regulating and in others, an ethical gap is building, at a time when businesses risk serious reputational damage if they do not do the right thing by people and the environment
  • Many clients see innovation as a way to free up the time of lawyers to focus their energy on what matters but are keen to point out that the use of technology should not be to the detriment of building genuine relationships

The interviews were carried out in the last quarter of 2019 but publication was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the pandemic has only exacerbated the key trends identified.

A more recent poll carried out last month by Mills & Reeve found clients were relatively optimistic for the future but concerns around coronavirus have made way for a degree of uncertainty regarding Brexit again. 57% of the 93 respondents said they were either concerned or very concerned about the upcoming trade talks, with the current transitional period expiring on 31 December 2020.

Following the publication of Building Resilience, Mills & Reeve is rolling out a strategy implementation toolkit to help focus on client needs and ensure a more tailored service. Given the uncertain future it looks at wider issues such as communication, pricing and value, responsiveness and delivering advice in the best format for clients. It will also develop a culture of “fearless feedback” ensuring all feedback is seen through the eyes of the client to guarantee continuous improvement.

The research has seen Mills & Reeve reinforce its commitment to clients by putting them at the heart of its new 2025 strategy. Their aim is to have 95% of clients recommending Mills & Reeve as the firm to work with.

Justin Ripman, senior partner at Mills & Reeve said: “If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that our clients’ requirements today are one thing but tomorrow is a whole different ball game. It is vital to keep looking ahead so we can be the law firm that supports the complex and varied future aspirations of the people and businesses we work with.”

“Although the survey carried out was relatively small in terms of the numbers interviewed, it is very rich in the insights it provides in terms of what clients will really want from their law firms in 2025. Our time and interest in getting to the heart of what they needed from us was really appreciated by them and we look forward to the challenge ahead of achieving our ambition of 95% of clients recommending us as the firm to work with.”

Find out more and download the report here.

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