Expert Insight

Marketing versus business development in law firms Founder Partner at Legal Leaders . Cristina Salvador - Female Lawyer From Brazil


What would you advise investors and entrepreneurs in business transactions from a legal and commercial stand point, particularly with regard to international businesses?

My piece of advice is that both investors and entrepreneurs work on a Business Plan that is appropriate to their business, to properly understand if the product/service will be well accepted within the location(s) selected. In addition, seeking to understand particulars regarding Intellectual Property/Specific Regulations and all criteria in connection with business law, since corporate structures and tax planning strategies are of utmost importance for transactions to develop. My personal experience allows me to state that without proper legal/accounting and technological advisory services, no business tends to succeed in today's environment, which tends to process automation and reduced profit margins.


Marketing & business development in law firms. what are the key challenges in marketing law firms and sustaining business development?

The current rule of thumb for law firms is to modernize their activities. Considering law offices, the possibility of acquiring sufficient automation to work cooperatively with both Digital Marketing and the development of new clients is much easier for large firms than for medium-sized firms, which in Brazil are barred from seeking foreign investment to face the costs of modernization of legal services. As for “boutiques” (i.e. small offices with specific capabilities and expertise), the scenario is not quite promising either, considering the aforementioned need comprising the “modernization of legal services”, which costs investment, but is also affected by the competition posed by on line legal services.

 Business development within law firms is becoming critical for continued growth as competition for professionals with the proven ability to satisfy clients and bring in new business continues to escalate. how can law firm partners overcome this and generate revenue?

There is a trend towards multidisciplinary performance by lawyers. The growing number of demands, reduced prices and alternative charging arrangements propel law firms to become multidisciplinary professional hubs, seeking innovative practices as well. Worth mentioning that the firms are encouraged not because of its competitors, but because of the needs of its customers. In addition, we should also highlight the intrapreneurship matter, precisely because it is a positive sign of decentralization, since employees are given the opportunity and initiative to improve internal processes and even approach techniques, creation of new business and client acquisition. The lawyers of the future should be good managers and have marketing skills, captivating clients and be entrepreneurship-oriented.

 Demand for legal services has stagnated, leaving firms struggling to earn new business and stay profitable. In your opinion, which is the most effective business development strategy for law firms to follow?

I think we can envisage two scenarios at this point: (i) as the lawyer's profession is changing and society demands new ways of providing legal services, it is critical that law firms follow this trend and drive in-depth internal changes to continue playing a relevant role. This move would represent a “deconstruction” of the legal profession as a whole; and (ii) there have never been as many opportunities for lawyers to work as we now have in this digital and technological age (worth pointing out, indeed, that virtually all areas of law are increasingly faced with challenges arising from innovations that are developed steadily.


In your opinion, What factors does a client take into consideration when choosing a law firm ? What are the client's key preferences on what matters – and what doesn’t – when it comes to choosing law firms?

Considering that lawyers currently have a monopoly in regard to legal knowledge, in my view clients who are given basic legal knowledge will be able to realize that they need legal assistance upon identifying an issue, thereby creating a demand. It is as if access to information gives them a real ability to know new issues, to which seeking solutions becomes a must. Furthermore, I believe the preparation of booklets and guides made available over the internet is one of the most effective ways to get potential customers' attention. Clients notice and know that when law firms get information, they are a lot closer to knowing their reality and this is key for choosing this or that law firm


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