27 Jan Online solutions come out top in LawNet awards
South East firm Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP has been named the LawNet Law Firm of the Year.
The firm scooped the prize for its successful strategy in driving up its commercial client base and its attitude to staff and client needs. The announcement was made at the annual conference of LawNet, the collaborative national network for independent law firms.
Said LawNet chief executive John Thomas, who presented the awards alongside BBC sports presenter Garry Richardson: “Their client list is now really impressive with some big hitters in the field and this has helped to drive their profits forward. They have increased their profile through various routes, including focussed use of networking, and have launched their own training academy which is available for all staff.”
Winner of the Managing Partner of the Year award was Derwent Campbell of Bath-based Mogers Solicitors LLP, who has overseen international recognition for the firm through the development of their expat services.
The use of leading edge techniques on their website saw a third successive win for East of England firm Kester Cunningham John who have started to sell some legal services online and have secured a 200% increase in traffic after an overhaul of their website.
Another firm rewarded for online innovation was Hertfordshire-based Breeze & Wyles Solicitors LLP, who won the business development award, after introducing an innovative online process to manage conveyancing work, which was written internally and has automated transactional work.
Best CSR policy went to Darbys Solicitors LLP in Oxford, for a clearly defined strategy that involves employees and covers involvement in both community and resource initiatives. The firm has recently secured ISO 14001 accreditation for its environmental management systems, one of only a handful of law firms in the country to do so.
And Ipswich firm Gotelee Solicitors won the Client Care award for a number of recent initiatives and processes, which have included a move to fixed fee billing and the introduction of a Client Promise strategy, which sets out how they will match up to their service claims and tackling everything about the client interaction process, through to how long a client may wait in reception.
The full list of award winners:
Law Firm of the Year
sponsored by comparelegaljobs.com
Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP
Managing Partner of the Year
Sponsored by Voicepath
Derwent Campbell of Mogers Solicitors LLP
Commitment to Client Care
Sponsored by Certainty
Sponsored by Hallam Communications
Kester Cunningham John Solicitors
Single Best Initiative: Business Development/Marketing
Sponsored by thecabinetoffice
Breeze & Wyles Solicitors LLP
Best CSR Policy
Sponsored by Westfield Health
Darbys Solicitors LLP
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Maggie Taylor, Prima PR & Marketing
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Helen Hamilton-Shaw, Director of Services, LawNet
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Notes to Editor:
LawNet was established in 1989 to enable a collaborative, non-competing national network where independent law firms could access big firm resources and benefit from collective purchasing, shared knowledge, best practice and expertise. Each firm has an exclusive geographical operating area to enable collaboration.
The combined income of the 68 firms comprising LawNet is currently in excess of £250m – equivalent to a UK Top 15 law firm – with members ranging from £2m to £15m turnover.
Independent research shows LawNet is most highly valued by members for delivering in six key areas – training, networking, PII, business development, marketing and compliance. It currently places some £1.2bn worth of PI cover alone for members each year, which helps stabilise premiums for firms.