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The Croner brand is a great one. But all greatness comes from and needs leadership. Croner succeeded when the legal publishers thought it was a business publisher and the business publishers thought it was a legal publisher. I saw it rise from £6m in sales to £120m in 15 years, and the team that rode that tiger was one of the best the industry has ever seen. The truth is it was neither legal not business publisher. A full 17 years after it broke all records on sustained growth and... [Read more]
Posted: 01 September 2017 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Buyers of legal, governance, compliance, and risk services actually don't care much what type of supplier they are dealing with. That was possibly the most profound and revealing finding from our research into SME and most recently school buying behaviour here. Yes, law firms assume it's their turf, but so do payroll software developers, ex-traded services advisory teams, HR consultancies and even insurers. Each of these industries have their unique competence area(s), but these are actually qu... [Read more]
Posted: 04 February 2017 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
It is a problem for lawyers, compliance consultancies and regulators alike that consumers of legal services don't easily agree on when an issue becomes "legal". The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) summed it up as: "the legal services sector is characterised by incomplete or asymmetric information; in particular that consumers are often unable to judge quality before (or after) they choose to buy a legal service" Head Teachers and school business managers are like anyone else i... [Read more]
Posted: 19 October 2016 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
The Lexis Bellwether Report 2016 sampling small firm opinions and at the other end of the profession the AmLaw 100 revenues per lawyer report both sound more warnings. They join a seemingly endless line of Futurists, Horizon Scanners, Thought Leaders and assorted academics wailing and gnashing teeth over legal services futures. But the UK legal IT market has just passed the half a billion mark in sales. It will add another £150m by 2020 comfortably; it's growing at 6-8% pa (and in our v... [Read more]
Posted: 11 May 2016 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Well in employment law they look like solicitors, obviously... don’t they? The £26bn legal service industry still considers the employment law subject specialism a "core" commercial one, and so employment law must be a business in the billions. Well, maybe. The Law Society registered 12,591 solicitors who could do employment law, and assuming an average of £225k fees per fee earner (a common benchmark in the 50-250 firm level) then employment law could be a £2.8bn sector... [Read more]
Posted: 24 April 2015 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
We are all "snowploughs" now, apparently. I was unfamiliar with the term, but it describes how conscientious parents try to clear the road ahead for their kids: from the right mix of bought-kit-to-sown-bodging for school dressing up, to coaching, crammers and internships. Nowadays it's the norm (although we all differ by degrees, I guess). Being a snowplough Dad (or more accurately a snowplough Mum supporter) when my youngest was in a heap - crying about 3 heavy duty A levels, grade 7 cornet and... [Read more]
Posted: 14 April 2015 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Did you know... Looking at Employment Law and Employee relations related services only, Peninsula is bigger than Eversheds (in the UK). Oh I know they almost never overlap, but in terms of who has the most cash to lead, transform, invigorate, reshape and generally play the Gates or Jobs role here - that's where you'd normally start. Hmmmm... Come to that, Croner is bigger than Lewis Silkin or Freshfields by some way... Citation is bigger than Clifford Chance or Baker McKenzie... Elli... [Read more]
Posted: 06 March 2015 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
There are literally hundreds of firms now who offer competent, accurate, conscientious, compliant and friendly services in regulatory compliance. Buyers, big or small, no longer have to mash up a slab from the lawyers, a slice from the software guys, a dash of insurance, some publisher garnish, the consultancies? seasoning and bring it to the boil themselves. Nobody wants their brightest and best bogged down with the fire-fighting, the sackings and exits that are inevitable in all human endeavou... [Read more]
Posted: 28 October 2014 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
We are often - no sometimes - no quite rarely really - but we do actually get asked about our research "method". Usually it has to be said by people filling in procurement questionnaire boilerplate, occasionally by some fellow buy side analysts or competitors who are afraid they're missing out on summat, and every now and then by someone who is wondering whether there really is method behind the annual scramble for strategy "guff" that firms eventually call strategic planning. So here's the "ge... [Read more]
Posted: 11 June 2014 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Legal IT v3.0 The world of legal publishing - be it software or content - has finally tipped over into the long awaited v3.0. Thomson (C-Track) have beaten a host of other enterprise and legal software specialists to deliver the English Royal Courts case management system. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was Law. That was v1.0. But frankly, it?s been some time since trudging around with a volume of Halsbury has given you the leading edge in legal information services. Bra... [Read more]
Posted: 07 May 2014 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
I went to the Lake District recently. It was wet. Wetter than wet. My partner said "it was so wet, there was a guy up there trying to put some giraffes in a boat". Biblically wet, in other words. It made me chuckle. We are often at a loss for how to reinforce key points. Significance can get lost in the lists. It?s no doubt why the tablets that come down from mountains are usually in lists of 10. An insightful blog from the US, by Robert Anbrogi listed 10 major legal IT changes through 2013 ? ... [Read more]
Posted: 29 January 2014 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
With halloween just gone - my advice is get some garlic and stay well clear of Chancery Lane. No really. There are so many silver bullets being fired, experts running around with stakes, crosses and other tools to kill the blood sucking rivals that it will make your head spin. And that?s just in Law Society Hall. Just up the road in Halsbury?s hallowed and now ghostly empty House it is worse. In all honesty we normally don?t comment on bad news - if you can?t say something positive, s... [Read more]
Posted: 28 October 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
The thing about selling a service is that it is intangible. One presentable person with a clean suit looks pretty much like any other and everybody can knock up half decent web-sites for next to nothing nowadays. So it?s important, especially for businesses like lawyers, consultants, affinity groups, and even banks, to try to make their service tangible. Making it tangible during the sales decision process is even more helpful. And that?s the nub of why legal documents and precedents are su... [Read more]
Posted: 23 August 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
There is such a deluge of research in the market currently that it?s hard to know where to start. If like me you have a ?worry tray? that accumulates the stuff you really do need to read some day soon, here?s a guide to what to take to the beach with you; and yes, you really can bin pretty much all of the rest. Hidden among the mass of research recently there are some real gems, and I?ll come to those in a minute, but you have to hack through the undergrowth to find them - so here?s how to ... [Read more]
Posted: 26 July 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
When a legal tome editor many, many moons ago I used to have to manage a range of editorial boards. The best editorial teacher I ever had, Carol Tullo, told me this was the chance to pick the best and brightest brains. So no "nit" was left unturned. I had the delight of meeting some truly wonderful benchers in Lincoln?s Inn and Middle Temple displaying their joy in their specialism. But I also had some bruising encounters, very bruising. The penny dropped. These forums simply curtail... [Read more]
Posted: 21 June 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Rich from Docklands asks: I was in charge of over 1200 people. I designed the services that are now the industry standard. I created over 1000 jobs and have only ever had to remove a couple of dozen. I sucked up so much poo from shareholders and internal audit hit squads for decades that it gave me ulcers. People I?ve trained have held senior roles in every major firm in the industry. I never created a job that didn?t have the power to pay someone?s mortgage for decades. Global HR su... [Read more]
Posted: 27 March 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
The reporting season for the 2012 year end is finally done, so here?s a summary of the headlines: Reed Elsevier: 2012 turnover up 2%; claimed +4% "underlying"; but the legal division was -1% (claimed +1% underlying). Operating profit up 5%, margin improved from 27.1% to 28%; legal division +2% (underlying +4%), but 14.5% profit margin. 80% of revenues in electronic and "face to face" preferred services. Performance in Europe is "subdued"; 2013 will be all about "process efficiencies". ... [Read more]
Posted: 04 March 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Dick from London asks: I’m pretty sure the owner has lost it. He’s been a great boss, but is spending all his time taking flying lessons and taking up dangerous sports. He’s taken mid-life crisis to new heights and frankly we’re afraid he’ll start losing us business if clients think we’re that flaky. How do we get his feet back on the ground. NED says: If the current Mrs Boss can’t do it, Mrs Boss no.2 or 3 should drive him back to the trough ev... [Read more]
Posted: 26 February 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Gill in Norfolk writes: Could this be a record? We no longer have a librarian: Jan?s been reclassified as a "content curator and merchandiser". To top it all she now reports to the ?Chief Privacy Officer?. I feel a capex request for a much bigger computer cannot be far behind. NED Says That wins this month?s daft title contest hands down. Not the CPO thing ? they?ve been around since Star Wars? Terry in Chester boasts: We?ve just won the Leading Supplier category in the 2012 awards... [Read more]
Posted: 18 February 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments
Big Al from Exeter is worried: They made me a director 4 years ago, but it’s still only a "personal title" and the car upgrade didn’t happen. Several chats a year with the FD have brought only more promises and no raises, but frankly a load more work - I seem to have to do all the dirty work in reorganisations now. "Busy" doesn’t even come close - I’m becoming the HQ one man SWAT team. The wife is threatening to leave if we don’t move and get the kids better plac... [Read more]
Posted: 12 February 2013 | Posted by: RBP | 0 Comments