‘ My main criticism of UK law firms is they do not know how great they are.’
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.
FAILING TO MAKE THE CUT:
Meghan Markle playing Rachel Zane in Season 6 of hit American legal drama Suits.