Make client care a core value

It goes without saying that clients are at the heart of any law firm and excellent client care is usually a core value for most lawyers. But in this fast-changing profession it can unfortunately be all-too-easy to lose sight of the client’s best interests or let other issues get in the way of delivering the very best service.

For example, technology is increasingly being utilised by law firms to improve efficiencies and cut down on admin time for lawyers. But there is a danger that substituting the ‘human touch’ of an email or phone call with a computer-generated response means valuable relationships with clients degrade over time, leaving more space for competitors to swoop in. And in the current legal market, new entrants are popping up constantly, with many businesses utilising their already well known brands to offer legal services and attract clients. For example, the Big Four’s foray into the market has shown how law firms must stay on top of their game and simply cannot afford to rest on their laurels whilst huge, trusted brands with loyal clients and innovative offerings pounce.

Unfortunately for many firms, especially those operating in personal injury and related practice areas, finances and cash flow can dictate how a case is run and this can mean a client’s best interests fall down the list of priorities. Complex personal injury cases can run for many years, with ongoing cost negotiations lengthening the time it takes for a legal team to get paid. Without adequate cash flow management, a firm can find it is continually struggling to keep its head above water and this financial stress can lead to lawyers compromising and settling the case sooner to release much-needed funds.

“…the Big Four’s foray into the market has shown how law firms must stay on top of their game…”

Thankfully, there are other options available to firms to ensure they are not caught in this difficult situation where they have to consider their clients’ best interests and their own precarious financial position. Financial solutions, such as our Costs Advance Facility, create flexibility for a firm by providing cash flow certainty. This facility can be used when a case has been won and a draft bill of costs has been issued, yet the firm’s funds are tied up in ongoing cost negotiations. This facility immediately releases the cash, meaning the firm is given the gift of time, not to mention the financial muscle, to negotiate a better settlement for their client. In a fast-changing profession, more and more firms are realising the benefits of these facilities to ensure their clients remain at the core of their work.

Norman Kenvyn, Founder & CEO of VFS Legal Funding,Modern Law Magazine – September 2019

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