Public disclosure of clients and operations in great detail is a growing trend among law firms. What happened to the traditional no-communication policy? Major commercial law firms in Spain such as Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Cuatrecasas, Dentons, Garrigues, Freshfields, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters or Uría Menéndez and the big four are some about their interventions in pending operations and who advises on major operations. Their inclusion in the annual classification published by media outlets was welcomed.
The trend of major clients that we most often see in the media headlines, such as Banco Santander, Glovo, CaixaBank or Cellnex, is to proudly acknowledge the dissemination of advice received. advice on reputation-sensitive matters such as workforce restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings.
But where is this trend headed? What is behind this evolution? Until a few years ago, the legal profession was known for its secrecy. We are now in full swing towards legal services firms that have incorporated business strategy departments and delegated the management and direction of the firm to decision makers with a job profile. Trust in these professionals is gradually changing the corporate culture and mentality of the legal profession. Lawyers are now aware that the professional network LinkedIn can become their main tool for attracting business, especially in highly competitive times; They know the importance of communicating success stories to communicate robustness and trust; They know that being included in major international directories such as Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 can be a condition for recruiting potential clients, and more importantly, they have internalized that being and doing is not enough. : We must tell what we are and what we do.
Another issue that regularly raises doubts is the choice between hiring external or internal communications, marketing and business development departments. My time in the communications department of one of the major national firms and my support through my current consultant to multiple law firms in Europe and Latin America have allowed me to analyze the best strategic process for each firm profile. The first step for a boutique is to outsource to support business growth for the logical reason to optimize resources. When a company grows, natural evolution suggests the gradual incorporation of internal talent who, in most cases, have a deep understanding of the company’s structure, team, and needs, without ceasing to rely on external support in certain strategic areas that the company wishes to strengthen by hand. overly specialized professionals. Outsourcing certain services not only provides greater objectivity and credibility to the outside public in the management of certain communications, but also contributes to a broader global perspective, overview, innovation in proposals and creativity in decisions. At the same time, the external consultant must become a true strategic partner of the firm and make the goals and challenges of his collaborators his own. In the most consolidated firms, the combination of both formulas is undoubtedly the most enriching option when offering solutions.
In short, the legal industry has been developing faster than ever in recent years, thanks to greater recognition by lawyers of the direct benefits of professionalized marketing, communication and business development strategies. Differences that previously distinguished law firms from other service firms will gradually disappear, in favor of business strategy, until they actually disappear.
Diana JennenManaging Partner of Communication and Business Development at Gericó Associates
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