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15% Of Law Firms In The UK Could Disappear In The Next 18 Months If They Do Not Adapt To Change


21st Century Business launches to provide legal firms with a one-stop-shop for business development – a first in the UK.

At a time of immense change, research indicates that up to 15% of North West legal practices could face huge difficulties and even disappear altogether if they do not prepare for the competitive landscape ahead, as set out in the government’s White Paper on the future regulation of the industry.

The research has been carried out by 21st Century Business, the brain child of husband and wife team Jayne and Christopher Allman, which this week launched to offer law firms a one-stop-shop for business development, with the objective of helping them to survive, grow and prosper and replace some of the perceived mystique, elitism and lack of transparency over costs and complaints.

The government’s recent legal services review states that going forward law firms must maintain the highest professional standards whilst adopting a keen business approach and will only succeed if they adopt modern methods, offer a wider range of services and above all, keep their clients as the focus of their attention – customer excellence is key.

“Currently, lawyers sell on technical ability but consumers have no way of assessing this, which is why they buy based on the level of customer care and service they receive,” says Jayne Allman, director, 21st Century Business.

21st Century Business believes that one of the services it is now offering - a business ‘health check’ - is the first of its kind in the UK specifically for lawyers and will make available the advice that law firms will seek in order to adapt to the suggested reforms.

It will offer a wide range of services including everything from marketing, communications and web development, to IT services, advice on customer excellence, financial and risk management, managing staff and even administration support. Advice will be delivered by specialists - such Ex BBC newsreader and broadcaster Martin Henfield, who will provide media training and advice on making business presentations.

“The structure of 21st Century Business looks very different to those of, for example, a local Business Link, or a firm of management consultants; it is made up of experts who work for themselves and can provide a strategic service but without any of the overheads of a large management consultancy practice – and therefore the corresponding fee levels, said Jayne Allman, director, 21st Century Business.

“We believe we are the first in the UK to offer such a service in this unique format. With experts covering the entire business spectrum we can look at the big picture - bringing them together, in one place, with one common agenda to add value to the firms’ established worth.

“It’s our aim to allow lawyers to continue doing what they do best – practicing the law – but in an increasingly business savvy world, 21st Century Business can advise firms on how to remain competitive, survive in their market place, better market themselves and become much more customer focussed – thus increasing revenues.

“Firms can’t afford to simply do nothing – they must adapt to 21st century methods of working or risk being one of the 15% to disappear. Consumers vote with their feet,” she concluded.

Partners from the region’s law firms can attend one of two events held by 21st Century Business on 25th April, 2006 entitled “The Future of Legal Services : put your firm on the ‘winning’ side.” The morning session will be held at the Manchester Science and Industry Museum between 07.30 and 09.30hrs or the evening session will be held at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel in Worsley between 17.00 and 19.00hrs.

Interested parties should contact Julie Courtney at Type-IT Events Management Tel: 01204 590327 Email: Fax: 0870 4423349.


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