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This case study traces how a focus on value and pricing has helped transform Wollens into a legal powerhouse in the South West of England.
Talking to Chris Hart, CEO, Clive Meredith, Practice Director, Katrina Vollentine, head of Private Client, Simon Bean, head of Dispute Resolution and Rebecca Procter, head of family at Wollens about a strategic approach to pricing.
Chris Hart was Managing Partner of Wollen Michelmore in 2008 when I first met him on the Law Society’s Law Management Section Executive Committee.
We faced similar challenges, as I was then CEO of a North West law firm about 50% larger than his. We were both engaged in steering a course for our firms through the recession, and in doing so, shaping them for the challenges that would lie in wait.
One issue which nearly all firms face is the question of pricing legal services. Most law firms set or quote prices on instinct and anecdotal evidence, rather than from informed research and few lawyers have had any training on pricing – an issue that is a recognised specialism in certain sectors.
There is even a well-known lawyer habit known as the triple discount: quote low, under-record matter related time, and then at billing write off even more time as irrecoverable because ‘we can’t charge that much!’ to this client.
Prior to leaving my old firm, I had started to work with pricing consultant Richard Burcher – the world’s leading legal pricing consultant – and had seen the immediate benefit of a strategic pricing strategy on profits.
Over time, I was able to share my experiences with Chris as we continued to work together on the LMS committee, and in 2015 Wollens (as it was then known) decided to place ‘pricing strategy’ firmly on the management agenda. Five years on and the firm is barely recognisable. This case study traces how a focus on value and pricing has helped transform Wollens into a legal powerhouse in the South West of England