Many small practices label themselves as “boutique” or “specialist” practices. But, not every small practice is a specialist.

Specialist firms are consciously structured with a low partner to professional staff ratio and operate within a clearly defined sphere of competence. Specialists are successful only if these organisational and strategic attributes, enhance client service.

In our case, mandates are run by our directors and senior staff without relying on leverage from juniors. We stay within our core competence of corporate and commercial law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions.

How does this enhance client service?

1.  Transactions in the corporate commercial area often require commercially minded, pragmatic and experienced practitioners. Our directors have these qualities, allowing us to identify, properly explore and negotiate important content. Our value-add is bringing our commercial experience to bear on the heart of a matter. Judgement is often required and cannot be delivered by less experienced practitioners or bureaucracy.

2.  We act as trusted advisors, managing other specialists such as stamp duty practitioners and labour intensive aspects of matters such as due diligence. We have no incentive to bring in other lawyers and do so only when necessary.

3.  This general management role also allows us to understand the interrelationship between various aspects of the matter and the overall transaction.

4.  Our directors are owners of the firm and clients are not subject to change of contact person within the firm. This fosters understanding of client businesses and industries, trust, an understanding of how to work together and long standing mutually beneficial relationships.

5.  Our structure suits our personal approach of simplicity, informality, lack of bureaucracy, irreverence and frugality. This resonates with our clients, many of whom are entrepreneurs and founders.

6.  Being a specialist law firm allows us to charge in a cost-effective manner and ensures that clients enjoy a compelling value proposition when using our services.

We would love to hear from you on this topic. What do you think? How are we doing?