Going it alone

Going it alone is simply a drawn-out closing down, says Chris Bull.

In a comprehensive whitepaper Chris Bull of Edge International, formerly of Osborne Clark and Integreon, reports on the new models being introduced in the legal services market. He uses his experience of law firm management and outsourcing to identify the key issues every law firm needs to consider. His conclusions are clear:

“There are five fundamental questions that each law firm should be asking as they review the changing shape of the market and their response:
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Consumer brand

Without a brand capable of competing on a national stage, you can’t seize the fabulous market opportunity that exists. We incorporate your firm’s name into a consumer brand that will set you apart from competitors. [private]

You need a brand that means something to consumers. Not a brand that reflects how you view your firm but a clear exposition of the benefits you will deliver for your clients.

The Simplify the Law concept has been developed by non-lawyers for non-lawyers and there’s a world of difference between it and the meaningless names and bald claims that the legal industry has so far come up with for new companies and services. Designed by Evident in conjunction with ThinkFarm (the strategic consultants behind brands such as The O2, Yo! Sushi and Virgin Radio) it captures in three simple words the stand your firm is taking on behalf of its clients.

When you take a franchise from Evident, you commit to your clients that you will Simplify the Law, that you will be faster, clearer and more efficient than the competition. The brand concept is all about your firm and what it will do for its clients. Your firm’s name remains centre stage.

Your commitment to Simplify the Law, to make legal services fast, efficient and clear, shouts out that your firm will not conform to the stereotype of uncommunicative solicitors slowing the process down, working inefficiently and adding to the complexity. As a Simplify the Law firm, you are promising the difference that research by the Legal Services Consumer Panel evidences people are crying out for. Who wouldn’t want the law to be simplified?

The visual identity of the brand concept – how it looks – is absolutely focused upon and been tested to appeal to the ABC1 demographic that are the biggest purchasers of legal services. The logos and associated language create and develop brand values of fast, efficient and clear that communicate the benefits clients get when they choose you over the competition.

As a Simplify the Law franchisee, those are benefits that are exclusively available from you to clients within your region. To see the full brand concept and brand identity for your firm, click here to arrange a meeting with us. [/private]

Marketing power

You need marketing firepower to drive more business to your firm. We will aggregate marketing spend to deliver the creative input and market impact that no one law firm can achieve. [private]

We will communicate your clear and differentiated service proposition across the multiple channels that are crucial to securing your existing revenue. We will generate new leads from existing clients and new prospects.

On letterheads, emails, websites, marketing materials, signage, TV, radio, print and outdoor media, the promise that you Simplify the Law will mark your firm out as one with clients’ interests at the heart of what you do and how you do it.

We will use search engine optimization to drive the Simplify the Law website far higher in the search rankings than you could achieve for your firm individually. This will ensure clients and prospects stand a vastly improved chance of finding you on the Internet. When they do find you, they will discover an outstanding web presence with clear, differentiated and relevant messaging.

Improving the visibility of your local presence can also tip the balance when it comes to choosing a lawyer. Prospects who pass by your office or see local advertisements will immediately know that your promise is to Simplify the Law and remember you for it. Backed by our national advertising campaign, you will be more than just another local law firm.

Click here to arrange a meeting with us to explore the volume of new matters you can expect this form of marketing to generate for you.

We will also devise mail campaigns that proactively seek out new instructions from existing clients and from new prospects. We will build these campaigns around legal issues that create a clear and pressing need for clients to seek out your help.

Arrange a meeting with us to discover the types of campaign we will devise, the response and conversion rates we expect and the impact to your top and bottom lines we can deliver. [/private]

Distinctive legal service

You have to deliver a client service that challenges the preconceptions that many will have about dealing with a law firm. You have to be clear about why a client should come to a local law firm rather than a national branded service. [private]

First class service standards

We will help you deliver a legal service that delivers the clear benefits that your target clients are prepared to pay for. Your legal service will live up to the brand promise that you will Simplify the Law.

We promise individuals or small business that when they turn to a law firm to Simplify the Law they get fast, efficient and clear advice from a local expert with experience they can rely upon. Not a call centre with non-qualified staff forcing them through a process. Not an online service with back up from a solicitor they’ve never heard of who is too far away to travel to see. But a local solicitor they can deal with in the way that suits them best: online, by telephone, in person.

Our service method doesn’t seek to change how you practice the law. It provides a framework of matter management and client communication that will fundamentally improve the client experience and showcase the added value a client is getting from the experience and expertise you offer. It will help you and your staff show clients and prospects that you are fast, efficient and clear.

Support, training and technology

We will only work with firms for whom the Simplify the Law service standards are a natural progression from the good service levels they already deliver. Those firms will find the materials we provide and the training we offer helps them deliver a service that clients need and want to tell friends, family and colleagues about.

With the right processes in place we will move on to integrate those service levels into the technologies that will put further distance between you and the competition.

Ask us when we meet why our background in legal technology and the productisation of legal knowledge will give our franchisees a long-term competitive edge. Ask us about the Development Partners we are working with to deliver that advantage. Arrange a meeting with us to hear more about the fast, efficient and clear consumer proposition that will help you retain existing clients and win new business. [/private]

Economies of scale

No matter how good your client service or how effective your marketing, a high cost base will prevent you from pricing competitively. Our operational support and buying power will enable you to compete. With your operations optimised, our efforts to help you grow your top line will transform your bottom line. [private]

Our Procurement Health Check is one of the first steps we will take with you once you become a franchisee. We will help you identify potential savings across each of the primary cost areas, including staff and premises, but our procurement specialists will focus upon driving down your overhead through best practice and bulk purchasing power.

Our finance specialists will track and benchmark you on key metrics of law firm performance, sharing the experience from across the franchise network to help each franchisee improve. Often it is the aggregation of small incremental changes that makes a noticeable difference to the bottom line. [/private]

Cost effective and exclusive

Fees and offers [private]

Our fee structure is clear and far more affordable than you might think. While securing the franchise for your territory ahead of the competition is crucial, there are additional incentives for entrepreneurial firms that move quickly to lead the Simplify the Law franchise network.

Arrange a meeting with us to discuss why your firm should lead the way.


As a first mover, you will have the opportunity to work with us to define your exclusive territory and ensure that it covers the clients in the areas that you currently serve and have the ambition to serve. Once the territory that your firm operates in has gone, it’s gone.

You will have the exclusive right within that territory to brand your firm as a Simplify the Law firm. Leads from prospects within that territory that are generated by Evident, including through the Simplify the Law website and direct marketing campaigns, will be exclusively directed to you.

There will be no geographic restriction on you accepting and retaining business although some restrictions on prospecting outside of that area will be required in order to safeguard other franchisees’ business.


Your fee will secure your right to use the Simplify the Law brand, method and materials in your territory for a period of 5 years. [/private]

Secure the franchise for your territory

If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us.

We will contact you within 5 working days of the receipt of your application to arrange a meeting where you can explore the detail of who we are, what we are offering and how we will deliver.

We will ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement so we may talk frankly at the meeting about the detail of the franchise and so you are confident about sharing information about your firm with us.

If, after that meeting, we each agree that we wish to proceed, we will undertake a short due diligence process. A franchise agreement will then be drafted for the consideration of firms who are able and ready to commit to Simplify the Law.