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Everyone knows… marketing costs a lot of money and grinds to a halt over the summer, right?  No! We think it’s time you took a new look at how you spend the summer months.  Why does the cleaning have to happen in the Spring and the resolutions in January?  Why can’t we take advantage of the next few months to focus on developing our marketing activity?

We’ve set out fifteen suggestions for summer marketing tasks and we’re going to send them to you in handy batches of five… that means there’s one per day for three weeks.  And the best bit is they won’t cost the earth – in fact, most are entirely cost free.

1. Last client win in 1954 – If you have profiles and cases on your chambers website do make sure they are up to date.  The same goes for information about service areas and (of course) legal information.  Take the chance over the next few weeks to check whether things are up to date and, if not, change them.  It might give you some ideas for wider changes you want to do in the coming year.

2. Say “thank you” – Much of your work will come from personal recommendation and referral.  Whether that means existing clients or professional contacts they have all been responsible for your income over the past year.  Now is the time to say a proper thank you… to everyone.  This doesn’t have to mean a bottle of scotch or a flash lunch… it can simply mean a postcard or a letter.  Whatever you do, saying thank you properly and personally (that means no round-robin emails) means the world to people and helps to remind them that you’re there.  Yes, that’s right… saying thank you can remind people that you’re there and you mayeven get some more work in off the back of this small, simple gesture.

3. Get in touch – Over the year there will be a whole host of clients who have lost touch with your set (or specific barristers) for one reason or another.  Take a look back at your work done and pick out a few that, for whatever reason, haven’t been in touch for a while.  Pick up the phone and arrange to meet for a coffee… Importantly don’t think that just because there is a logical reason for their losing touch that there is a logical reason for not getting back in touch.  You can always promote the wider services of the set or use it as an opportunity to introduce more junior members of chambers.

4. Life laundry – The summer break is a good chance to consider how well you present yourself.  Is your office tidy?  Are your meeting rooms tidy?  Are there files everywhere (or a fridge/washing machine/toaster in the entrance hall – as we saw at one chambers)? Are there dirty marks on the paintwork that could be cleaned off with a bit of elbow grease?  A stain on a carpet tile that could be replaced?  Could the front path do with a tidy up?  How about the facilities you offer – do they need upgrading? We’re not suggesting that you all have to roll your sleeves up but you do need to make sure that you present the impression that you want… and what impression does dirty, run-down give of your ability to do the work professionally and efficiently?  Kick off the holidays by taking a step back and assessing how well you present yourselves to clients that come in to your offices… if necessary, have a good old sort out!

5. Taking aim – The summer is a good time to do some work on setting out some target clients for the future. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about great long databases.  We’re talking about getting to understand maybe five or ten really good opportunities.  First, consider your core areas of expertise.  Now pull off your client list for the last year.  Then compare this to the Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 list of firms that are ranked in that area.  Who is missing?  Now consider whether any of these are clients for other areas of expertise. Work out a hot list of key accounts and start to dig into who you know there, which offices you might work for, doing what. Build up an action plan to establish who you want to talk to and what you’re going to do about it.

Are your barristers (or clerks) concerned about appearing pushy? Do they tell you that they’re too busy to sit in client care meetings? Or are they resistant to any form of centralised KAM approach? Is it all just giving you a headache?