During the London Legal Expo, we heard from a high calibre panel representing the Big 4. It was fascinating to hear how they position themselves with respect to the traditional firms and their target market.
It was compelling to hear how they see clients wanting a firm that can offer a seamless and efficient suite of offerings for all their challenges (perhaps law, consultancy or even accounting). The Big 4 can certainly facilitate all of these with the legal arm involved. This was particularly stressed by Amanda Brown of KPMG with a lovely analogy of mixing paint. If clients want red paint (law firms) or blue paint (accountancy firms) then that is what they should buy. However, what most clients need is a mix of both - purple paint.
As law firms, the big four cannot compete with traditional firms. But when legal services are provided as part of a mix - the proposition is much more attractive.
From a sales perspective, it was raised by Juan Crosby of PwC that the organisation needs to adopt technology that can get work done in an efficient way and it is vital to put the client at the heart of these decisions so they reap the benefits. It was noted that one of the biggest advantages the big 4 had over traditional law firms was the ability to invest in and adopt technological change.
Combining both of these points, Hannah Morgan of Deloitte explained how their client accounts are set up to bring in the right people from completely different places around the firm. By way of example, Hannah went on to explain that the outcome of introducing a lawyer with someone from human capital consulting to a client can spark amazing ideas (I would imagine there is also an efficient revenue model here too).
I felt that this is possibly the best use of technology in the initial stages for these firms. A seamless way for every expert within the firm to be aware of their colleague's skillset, knowledge and importantly an efficient way to bring them into a client digitally given the disparate and agile workplace we now operate in.