Nelsons has hosted its first annual conference for law firms across the region to address the changing strategic landscape and opportunities available to practices now that the impact of the Legal Services Act is beginning to be felt.
The conference, which took place at the Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth, brought together the East Midlands' members of the UK's leading legal referral and support network, Connect2Law.
Nelsons’ chief executive, Tim Hastings spoke on the challenges and threats posed by the changing legal market, while managing director Chris Miller focused on the regulatory regime and alternative business structures.
Other guest speakers included Jane Biggs, managing director of specialist legal recruitment firm Bygott Biggs, who looked at the employment market, and how to find and retain staff. Susan Hallam from Hallam Communications offered top marketing tips.
Marie Walls, business development director and head of Connect2Law services at Nelsons, says: “Nelsons is the hub firm for East Midlands region of Connect2Law, now the largest and most successful legal referral network run by lawyers for lawyers.
“More than 2,000 law firms across the UK and over 170 firms in our hub region are already reaping the benefits of free membership. We believe it is a model of how law firms can work together in the future in an increasingly competitive market that is opening up to businesses not traditionally associated with the law.”
Benefits of Connect2Law includes free membership, written non-poaching and fee sharing agreements, assistance with Lexcel accreditation, discounted continuing professional development courses and free in-house training, as well as access to a wide range of consultancy services. Members also have access to a buying group, CostController, which saves on average 20% on core overheads for the purchase of paper to photocopiers and mobile phones to utility bills.
Commenting on membership, Trevor Moore, of Ibstock-based Trevor F Moore Solicitors says: “The Connect2Law referral scheme means that I do not have to decline any client’s business, or stray into areas of law outside my comfort zone.”
Emma Mitchell of Emery Johnson Solicitors in Leicester adds: “We are a medium sized niche law practice specialising in family, care and criminal law. We are delighted to be able to refer clients onto Connect2Law, for work that we do not undertake as a practice. We are safe in the knowledge that they will be passed to a similar specialist practice with standards as high as our own.”