‘ My main crit­i­cism of UK law firms is they do not know how great they are.’

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Larry Gould

Iwas so look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the real- life Suits, guys and girls from the Net­flix le­gal drama that made a star of Meghan Markle. The United States is our fastest­grow­ing ter­ri­tory for lan­guage ser­vices and we needed global le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion on our doorstep in Man­hat­tan.

So we de­cided to mar­ket test New York’s le­gal ea­gles against lawyers from Leeds in the UK, where our global busi­ness is head­quar­tered, and went out for ten­der on both sides of the At­lantic.

With all that Amer­i­can charisma and dy­namism and those shiny white teeth, we were cer­tain we were go­ing to be blown away by the US firms.

The New York­ers were very im­pres­sive in most of the ways you would ex­pect but their pro­fes­sion­al­ism just did not match up

We marked all pre­sen­ta­tions on the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria: Ex­per­tise, process, ser­vice and price.

We knew costs would be higher in Man­hat­tan and al­lowed for that but the pre­sen­ta­tions from the ma­jor US firms were sim­ply not as good as the ones from a regional UK city like Leeds.

Their suits were prob­a­bly smarter, but their ex­pla­na­tion of process and how they work did not come near.

What I do like about the Amer­i­cans is their nat­u­ral con­fi­dence and can- do at­ti­tude. But UK lawyers have some­thing bet­ter than that – their depth of in­tegrity, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and rep­u­ta­tion.

My main crit­i­cism of UK firms is they do not know how great they are. I do won­der if their abil­ity to pro­tect the client sup­presses their en­tre­pre­neur­ial flair.

Lawyers suf­fer from an oc­cu­pa­tional hazard; they tend to have a neg­a­tive mind­set. They hunt for the neg­a­tive to pro­tect their client.

Ev­ery day, they ask them­selves ques­tions like: “What’s wrong? What could go wrong? Who is at fault? Are there any ex­cep­tions to the propo­si­tion you’ve as­serted?”

Lawyers need to break out of this mind­set to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties be­ing thrown up in this era of in­cred­i­ble change.

One gets the swirling sense that ev­ery­thing we knew and counted on over the past cou­ple of decades is about to spin out of con­trol.

In the past, busi­nesses didn’t change the lawyers they worked with. They stayed with them for life; the re­la­tion­ship pass­ing from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.

But to­day, many or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing the­big­word, have a rule that in­sists that ev­ery three years they go out for ten­der to pro­fes­sional providers.

This means law firms must do bet­ter at sales and mar­ket­ing. Do they even con­sider them­selves to be sales­peo­ple? They should do.

How do they rate them­selves in sales and mar­ket­ing? How do they fol­low up their leads? What do they

do proac­tively to sell? When was the last time they looked at their pre­sen­ta­tion deck? Or bought a new tie?

Be­ing able to sell has helped me to build the­big­word into one of the big­gest lan­guage ser­vice providers in the world with of­fices in 12 coun­tries and turnover of $ 100m.

For many years, we have pro­vided le­gal trans­la­tions for a very well- known Sil­i­con Val­ley tech­nol­ogy giant. We al­ready work with a num­ber of Magic Cir­cle, Sil­ver Cir­cle and multi­na­tional law firms.

We have launched a new le­gal and jus­tice divi­sion to meet ris­ing de­mand for high qual­ity and high se­cu­rity trans­la­tion and in­ter­pret­ing as­sign­ments.

Our patented tech­nolo­gies are be­com­ing ex­tremely valu­able in a busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment where in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity is a grow­ing con­cern. I be­lieve we are the only lan­guage ser­vices provider in the world with patents in place for se­cu­rity and en­cryp­tion tools.

It’s not just about great tech­nol­ogy. We have a net­work of nearly 12,500 au­tho­rised lin­guists with le­gal and law spe­cialisms, in­clud­ing nearly . 4,200 in the UK.

The le­gal sec­tor is a growth mar­ket for the­big­word. Maybe I will get to work with the great guys

Suits and girls from after all.

PICTUTRE: PA

FAIL­ING TO MAKE THE CUT:

Meghan Markle play­ing Rachel Zane in Sea­son 6 of hit Amer­i­can le­gal drama Suits.

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