Lloyds TSB Commercial on re-shaping your firm – and how to pay for it

Chris Marston, Head of professional Practices at Lloyds TSB Commercial, takes a look at how solicitors firms can compete against external capital.

The SRA is now at last able to licence Alternative Business Structures. New players will enter the market before long. So how can traditional firms survive or even thrive in the new competitive environment?

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Some sound business advice from Chris. Particularly agree with the comments about firms traditionally being under-capitilised. This was a topic for discussion amongst several LawNet firms at a recent event, who were all focussed on building real value in their firms. Its something many firms need be looking at seriously in order to help them compete with new entrants.

Firms often struggle with the apparent contradiction between client service and persuading clients to pay: they dont want to "upset" their clients by asking for payment for work done - sometimes as much as 6 months ago. This is patent nonsense but takes a time to crack - and is so worth it when you do. Controlling cashflow enables you to provide better sevrice for clients.

Chris has written a very informative article and has identified what is required for a law firm to retain their independence. ABS's will give every size of firm the opportunity to attract much needed additional capital.The future of the independent law firm is in well managed practices with a clear understanding of the key management issues that affect every business.

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