Claire Smith, director at QualitySolicitors, on her new role & why law firms need to evolve or suffer…

After several years as a partner at Pannone in Manchester, last month I joined QualitySolicitors as its new partner firms director and what an exciting time to come on board! Since launching, QualitySolicitors has gone from strength to strength and my new role will see me become the key port of call for existing QualitySolicitors Partner Firms. My focus will be on all ‘relationship’ matters and that word really is at the core of everything I am doing and hope to achieve.

We all know the legal landscape is changing and the rapid rise of QualitySolicitors is proof of that! Our world – both legal and otherwise - is driven by communication, support and collaboration so I’ll be putting a heavy emphasis on making sure that I have clear, informative and regular dialogue with our firms.

Over the next few months, more and more practices will be joining us right across the UK so it’s essential they get the support as each new relationship is launched. For us, it’s not about a ‘big bang’; it’s about working closely on an ongoing basis. There’s also a real focus on training, client care and compliance as we understand that long term success will only come if a first class service is offered.

The partnership with WH Smith also excited me as it provides visibility and accessibility for consumers. This facility enables clients to engage on a face to face basis and it de-mystifies a profession that can be intimidating. It upsets some, but this kind of access is here to stay so we’re keen to embrace it and drive the trend forward.

I’ll also be overseeing the Legal Access Points within the network of WH Smith stores across the country which is a massive job in itself. This presence is a key window for our business so it’s imperative we keep things tight and on brand.

I have watched QualitySolicitors from the very start of its journey and I’ve admired the work the team has delivered so far. The company has gone from strength to strength and together with its partner firms, it has strived to develop a solid brand in the new legal market. I decided to join as I knew it would be exciting to be part of its next phase and I’m pleased to say that after having met a large number of QualitySolicitors firms, I am also inspired by their forward thinking and determination to provide quality advice and excellent client service.

Sunday 25th March saw the launch of our latest TV campaign and new website. We believe this to be the largest legal marketing campaign of its kind and the feedback has been extremely positive. We are delighted with the reaction it received and it again proved that a strong brand and clear communication is what’s now needed – regardless of a firm’s size or location.

No-one could argue that the legal services market hasn’t evolved - and with new entrants to the market like us with extensive marketing budgets and big ambitions - law firms will have to stand out and focus their business plans around sustainable objectives if they want to flourish.

A considerable amount of work is now taking place ahead of the main campaign push in May where we will air the advert a further 8,000 times. We will also be offering PR and marketing support to firms at a local level and this kind of ongoing investment emphasises our commitment and belief in what we do.