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The Client

Maurice Blackburn is the leading Australian Law firm. 

The Issue

Business had grown from a small Melbourne Based Plaintiff Law Firm – to become a National Group with over 80 offices. The market was becoming increasingly competitive, with many competitors turning to mainstream media to promote their services .The Partners recognised the need to engage all office staff and lawyers in the need to work effectively together – using a set of clear principles – to provide a consistent and unrivalled client and referrer lived experience. Given the legal process is a new and a quite daunting and emotional for most clients, it was important to front end and back end of what is promised and provided to a client is aligned, understood, observable and consistent. The key being for each office to forge a set of authentic and valued relationships with referrers and clients by earning their trust by fulfilling their promises and commitments. This in turn would build a strong referrer base and provide a platform for growth.

The Plan & Methodology

Develop and fuel a “dissatisfaction with the status quo” mindset with the Partners and Office Leaders by gaining feedback from clients, referrers, staff and legal outcomes – to capture what is done well and what could be improved or accelerated. This was achieved via a combination of storytelling, listening posts and surveys. The was feedback via a series of “inconvenient truth” workshops to share the results and talk through ideas and solutions. A common and consistent framework was developed focusing on

  • Account Managing Referrer Groups
  • Aligning the 9 touches of brand promises with client experiences
  • Creating a welcoming and intimate first impression process
  • Adopting a 4 P’s approach to how to act & Behave: Professional Personal Personable Proactive
  • Operational Excellence in each office and what this means to the things like File Management, Answering Client Enquiries, Phone and Email Management, Managing Feedback Loops with Referrers, Six Weekly Communication Touch Points with Clients, Team Based approach to Client Management, Preparing for Court Cycles, Dealing with complaints and problems, Local Marketing, PR, and Networking, finding the time to Account Manage
  • Building the Coaching Skills of Office Leaders
  • Developing the engagement and customer service skills of support & front of house staff
  • Facilitating regular half yearly strategic half days with each office to review where they are and agree tactics and strategies for the next six months
  • Empowering teams to actually have a go at some local marketing and profile-raising initiatives – and be prepared to share learnings with other offices

The Outcomes

  • Sustained double digit organic growth for seven consecutive years
  • Growth in market share – with no increase in marketing spend
  • Highest referral source was word of mouth referrals in each office
  • Grew the network of referring groups and bodies year on year
  • A more discerning and effective approach to account management
  • Unrivalled service experiences of clients continue to evolve
  • Staff engaged and feeling empowered
  • Improved legal outcomes for clients – exceeding that of competitors
  • Quantum shift in morale and team engagement

  • “The best part of working with David and his team is the willingness of client staff to participate rather than begrudgingly giving up their valuable time”


    - Terry Rees – William Buck
  • “The first CI in Warrnambool was about Alcohol Fuelled Violence and after doing the program, we saw an immediate 10% drop in alcohol fuelled violence and that was sustained in the years to follow”

    - Tracey Linford – Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police