New formula for success

RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, Calif. — A new formula based on what general counsel would really like was just one of several useful takeaways from the Marketing Partner Forum’s keynote presentation by Trevor Faure, global leader and partner of legal services for Ernst & Young LLP.

Delivering a presentation entitled “The Smarter Legal Model — Replacing the Traditional Zero-Sum Game Client Relationship with a Profitable Partnership,” Faure challenged delegates to move from a traditional partner-centric formula based on the idea that Relationships + Reputation = Revenue, to a more client-centric approach.

Well-miked, Faure moved around the large ballroom engaging the audience of senior legal marketing, business development professionals, and managing/marketing partners with a polished delivery style, peppered with sophisticated humour and spot-on examples.

Faure, who has acted in a senior legal management role for more than 20 years, cited principles from leading business and behavioural theories to rationalize the real interests of law firms and their clients, providing the basis for how a law firm can build profitable partnerships with its clients.

His new formula boils down to four points based on what GCs really want from their outside legal counsel:
•    Telepathy: knowing and understanding their business and industry;
•    Prescience: anticipating specific needs and offering solutions;
•    Exceptional client service; and
•    Cost efficiency.

He used the example of the U.K.’s Bribery Act of 2010 [http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/contents] to illustrate this formula by explaining that a law firm needs to understand the specific implications of such a piece of legislation to a particular client and have a solution in mind for that client before making the call.

He also strongly favours an individual approach, client by client, over sending out mass e-mails with a one size fits all message.

A U.K.-trained barrister, Faure has had a remarkable career starting at one of London’s top law firms and moving on to senior in-house positions at Apple, Dell, and Tyco International. He is also the author of The Smarter Legal Model: more from less.

The Annual Marketing Partner Forum is produced by the Hildebrandt Institute and West LegalEdcenter, and is attended by approximately 300 marketing partners, managing partners, senior marketing and business development professionals from Canada, the United States, and internationally.

Faure closed his remarks with the statement, “Whatever enabled you to achieve today’s success is no longer sufficient to maintain future success.”

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