And no – I am not advocating anti-competitive / illegal behaviour….
I am surprised how many smaller firms live their professional lives as islands – knowing very little about other firms in their regions and simply assuming they are all competitors.
Beneficial collaboration works – but particularly for specialists in plaintiff PI, family, and commercial litigation. A great many firms simply don’t want to work in some areas of practice, BUT from time to time receive enquiries from their clients in these very areas. In these circumstances, having cordial relationships with firms that DO that kind of work is helpful – both as a service to the client, and also at the prospect of reciprocation.
In my experience, specialists tend to get most out of collaboration because referrer firms won’t usually see them as a potential threat to an existing relationship.
So give some thought to learning more about all the other firms in your region. There may be opportunities you hadn’t previously appreciated.
And don’t forget, collaboration isn’t just about winning clients.
There are a range of opportunities to pick people’s brains on all aspects of practice in District Law Associations and other forums. We even see firms using a common practice system forming informal user groups as a way of sharing knowledge and potentially leveraging their voice with vendors. Collaboration works.
Published: Queensland Law Society – Proctor, April 2013 (p.55)