Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Firm Links

Azrights has set up a networking group for small law firms (of fewer than 5 partners). It is called Firm Links.

Its purpose is to afford small law firms an opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest. It will provide a perfect environment for generating new ideas, exchanging experiences, hearing other people’s views and therefore gaining a different perspective.

The first discussion forum is taking place at a central London location on Tuesday 2nd June, 2009 over breakfast. The cost to attend is £20 plus VAT. So far we have invited solicitors known to us through networking.

There is no limit to the number of solicitors who may be added to the invitation list. The way Firm Links works is that the first 25 solicitors to accept an invitation for a meeting will attend the meeting for that month. So, there is no obligation to attend regularly.

More about Firm Links

Small practices face unique challenges – particularly in the light of the changes brought about by the Legal Services Act and the likely increased costs of regulation. By getting together and discussing business matters with other law firms we aim to find solutions and generate new creative ways of improving our individual businesses.

Apart from picking up useful information, participants will make new contacts with a variety of other lawyers. The meetings will begin with an opportunity for each participant to give a 1-2 minute ‘elevator speech’ to introduce themselves to the group. We advise bringing plenty of business cards to pass around.

Firm Links will usually meet once a month over breakfast, but we may also arrange other events too. (Only one representative of a law firm may attend the same meeting, although more than one solicitor from that firm may be on the invitation list). There is no restriction on the number of lawyers specialising in a given area of law. The only absolute rule for now is that if a firm grows to more than 5 partners it will no longer be eligible to attend Firm Links.

Topic for 2nd June discussion - Professional Indemnity Insurance

The topic for discussion is Insurance following last year’s difficult PI renewal situation. The Gazette reported on 23 April that this year is also going to be a difficult renewal situation. With the current economic downturn, and the increasingly competitive landscape on the horizon, what impact does another adverse insurance season have on small firms? Does the current insurance problem have the potential to force the closure of yet more law firms? What are your thoughts on what the insurers will be looking out for? Have you developed or implemented any changes that might have a beneficial impact on your insurance renewal experience this year? What preparation can we make? Is Lexcel relevant to small firms? Does it help?

The Law Society has also produced a practice note on a dedicated website and is running CPD seminars, as part of its tool kit to help members “more effectively prepare their firms for obtaining or renewing their PII and developing best practice approaches for the long term.”

If you do not want miss out on the first meeting on 2nd June, then please email us here before 28th May. Email the same address if you would like to be added to the invitation list for future meetings.

1 comment:

  1. I qualified as a solicitor but since going SOLO I have relied on my litigation certificates from CIPA and ITMA and therefore I have been able to avoid the excessive regulatory costs of the SRA. I do carry insurance and for some time have been working with my insurer on a proposal to cover solicitors too. This is separate from Azright's new group advertised here and will focus on those mainly involved in IP though not necessarily just sole practitioners though you are the ones I most care about. SOLO will remain free and will continue to embrace all in the IP world regardless of regulation.