What’s been going on in the Legal Industry – Marketing & Business Development Review

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you will not have been able to escape the incessant noise around Brexit, and what it could mean for us going forward.

Amidst the uncertainty, however, the research suggests that at as far as the legal sector is concerned, the mood and financial performance of firms operating in the UK remains mostly positive. Sure, challenges and competitive threats exist namely in the form of lower-cost providers, technology, and the Big 4/Accountancy firms for example. The fact remains, however, that legal spend is on the rise, and by and large, firms are focused on growth.

For marketing and business development professionals working within this sector, it has rarely been a more exciting time to be at the forefront of driving change, shaping client experience and equipping partners and associates with the BD skills they need to succeed in the modern world of business.

So, what are we noticing here at Ernest Hunter Green that backs up this sentiment?

Firstly, a consistent flow and broad variety (sector/client, technology and market/region focus) of marketing and business development roles being hired at the mid-senior levels and above. Where natural attrition exists, roles are being replaced, whilst others have been newly created due to growth, or around a specific project or initiative such as a new CRM system or investment in a relaunched client programme.

This healthy flow of recruitment suggests a reasonable level of confidence and sense of optimism for the future, whatever the repercussions of Brexit may have in store. The conversations we are having with BD and Marketing Directors across a variety of firms remain upbeat, and a sense of opportunity tends to override feelings of uncertainty.

As a business development (BD) and marketing professional working within the legal sector, here are three things to keep in mind when thinking about your career progression in these uncertain times:

  1. Embrace change – accept that it is difficult, and in some cases, impossible to plan too far ahead. This is likely to be the case regardless of what sector you are in. Focus on the things you can control and make sure you are on the front foot rather than reacting to changes going on around you.
  2. Be proactive and seek out opportunities to take on additional responsibilities/projects wherever possible. Don’t wait to be asked or expect someone to come up with the idea for you. Ensure you are always thinking of different ways to add value. Identify the skills you have that are perhaps not being utilised fully. Align them to any gaps that may exist in the firm and come up with a suggestion of how you may be able to help in a different way. Create the opportunity for yourself.
  3. If you decide for whatever reason that it is time to move on from your current firm, ensure that you take a measured approach to finding your next role. Don’t put yourself in a position of weakness by waiting until things have reached rock bottom, as this tends to lead to a poor decision. Ensure that your CV, LinkedIn profile and other social media channels are up to date and present a consistent, professional and clear picture of who you are and where you are striving to achieve. Leverage your network to seek out new opportunities, ask for introductions, and build market intelligence. Finally, ensure that you partner with a reputable recruiter who knows the industry, has strong contacts, and can represent you in a trustworthy and professional manner.

The message is clear; and despite the wider political and economic uncertainty that we are being reminded of on a daily basis at the moment, outstanding opportunities for business development (BD) and marketing professionals in the legal sector exist in healthy supply.  Of that we can be sure.

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