LPM Tiger Team: WHAT IS IT?

in partnership with

Aftab Bose, Editor|LPM Magazine|

At the height of the Apollo 13 crisis, a group of four, top NASA experts with diverse specialties – a Tiger Team – were thrown together in a room to deliberate until they had found a way to bring the three stranded astronauts back home.
LPM Tiger Team is intended to bring this do-or-die approach to a legal business problem: by using a range of expertise to analyse a pernicious SME law firm issue, they will solve that problem. The inaugural LPM Tiger Team session in partnership with Access Legal was focused on answering the question: How can firms rebuild themselves around their clients?

Watch episode one: Creating a more client-centric law firm

The Tigers:

  • Jacqueline Watts, director/head of commercial law, A City Law Firm (~20 headcount, Ltd)
  • Joanna Kingston-Davies, group COO, The MAPD Group (multi-law firm group, Ltd)
  • Edward O’Rourke, CEO, Ashtons Legal (300-350 headcount, multi-site regional, partnership)

With legaltech expertise in the room provided by:

  • Lauren Colbeck, head of product at Access Group

The Tigers set about trying to identify issues that get in the way of creating the “customer-for-life” – exploring themes of loyalty (or lock-in), customer experience and communication.

The ‘how’:

Much has been said about why businesses need to rebuild around clients – competitive advantage, resilience and purpose in the new normal. The Tigers went beyond the headline trends and asked how legal businesses can achieve a more integrated relationship with their clients. Their own efforts to date include:

Client-focused teams Jacqueline Watts, director of commercial law at A City Law Firm, explained how the firm has setup an independent department tasked solely with monitoring the client journey and measuring satisfaction. Rather than revenue generation, the client management team’s targets are to understand client needs, walk them through complicated matters, and make sure they know where they stand – empowering them to make decisions and leaving lawyers unhindered to deliver the hard talk. Quality time with the client-management department is an integral part of the firm’s training and onboarding programme.

Bridging the perception-reality gap At Ashtons Legal, Edward O’Rourke reported the use of external evaluation metrics such as ReviewSolicitors to measure client satisfaction – to bridge the gap between what clients expect, and what lawyers think they expect. The firm’s roughly 350 employees are now also given bonus points for innovative thinking that can transform the delivery model and better meet these needs.

Looking beyond profit O’Rourke also highlighted internal changes such as streamlining delivery and processing activities – cutting lead times and breaking from the ‘more hours, more success’ motif. Rather than trying to win that extra bit of profit on a yearly basis, the firm is looking at being future-ready and competitive over a four-to-five-year timeline – which requires a more sustainable and client-centric outlook.

A “stable table” approach Joanna Kingston-Davies is chief operating officer at MAPD, where a similarly holistic view of growth is a core part of the mission statement. People, clients, quality and profit make up four legs of a figurative table at the firm – and each must be equally sturdy for robust growth. All four are benchmarked using data and are core pillars in training and appraisal journeys.

Legal-tech solutions Access Legal is continually developing solutions to some of these issues. Head of products Lauren Colbeck highlighted how technology can help monitor and manage the journey towards client-centricity, as well as collect and organise data from disparate legacy systems. Most data tools – while traditionally geared towards profit – also come with customisation options, so their functionality can be tweaked in line with evolving metrics.


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