At our gathering in London last night, Duncan Bucknell shared his insights withers onto the future of global patent litigation in the pharmaceutical field. You might have thought that the trademarks of vision as would be snoring but his vigour and commercial analysis of the issues kept is interested. In the subsequent lively discussion, we did identify that one unique selling point that solo practitioners have is their ability to show to the world a really recognizable position. Duncan's strength lay in his advance planning of the type of work and clients that he wished to focus on and then making sure that he did things, including giving away copious amounts of free relevant analysis on his website -things like his scorecards- that showed he did have the expertise and ability to help them. We all agreed that it is not enough to say you can do things-that has to be some way of demonstrating it.
Duncan acknowledged that he was a disciple of David Maister a marketing guru who also provides a lot of free information.
Another solo strength lies in being able to adopt ideas and implement plans quickly. None of those tedious law firm approval processes, marketing committees and budget approvals. A little chat with yourself and all is full steam ahead. I am sure that many of us will be pondering this morning whether we should put client guarantees on our bills giving the opportunity for the client to pay what he thinks work is worth if it is not happy with the total. The obligation on the client is to explain in full why he was not completely satisfied with the value received. This is something which allows a client to feel confident about what may be considered to be some sort of risk in taking advice from a smaller organisation.
A big thank you to CIPA for making their hall available to us and, of course, to Duncan for making the time in his schedule.