On 31 May 2019 the Ukrainian Bar Association held Lviv Legal Business Forum - first of a kind event in Western region.
The official part of the event opened Denys Bugay, President of the Ukrainian Bar Association, and Roksolana Kostur, Head of the UBA Branch in Lviv Oblast, member of the UBA Board, Partner of Matviyiv & Partners. They thanked partners of the event: Kodary Partners, Legal Group and BK Partners.
The first session was devoted to the discussion of the development of legal services. This session moderated by Yarema Kondratyuk, managing partner at Kodary Partners Law Firm.
Tatiana Benko, Partner at Legal Marketing Solutions, made a detailed review of four factors that will influence the legal market during the next two years:
1. Be prudent. Remember: Growth is important not for the sake of growth, but for the sake of effective and profitable development.
2. Be proactive when it comes to interacting with clients. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate again.
3. Be useful if you want to win the competition for the budgets of your clients.
4. Be respectful to qualitative analytics. Think and make conclusions in the interests of your own business.
Anna Rodyuk, deputy editor-in-chief of Yurydychna Gazeta Weekly, spoke about the need for legal ratings from the point of view of their demand in a global dimension.
She noted that before submitting a questionnaire, one should find out:
- who is the organizer of the rating, because you need to know and trust the company that will work with the data you provide;
- what methodology of research: what criteria your work pays attention to the researcher and how it measures success;
- what will be the interpretation: what kind of information will be analyzed and in what form it will be displayed.
Also, the journalist provided a list of criteria that are key to assessing a law firm in the study of the Yurydychna Gazeta Weekly, "Market Leaders. Rating of Ukrainian Law Firms", namely:
- agreements (amount, complexity and volume);
- reviews of colleagues;
- company income;
- efficiency of work;
- recognition by international ratings;
- client recommendations;
- positioning in practice.
Anna stressed: It is important to remember that the qualitative filling of the questionnaire for participation in the rating gives more chances for a relevant assessment of the work of a law firm.
Serhiy Matviyiv, managing partner of Matviyiv & Partners, told about the company's overhaul in his own experience and said: "Very often we hear the stories about a business that has disappeared, went bankrupt or became mega-unsuccessful because it failed to change in time."
Among the main theses, he singled out:
- For the successful overhaul of the office, first of all, you should change and improve yourself.
- Before revealing the needs of the client - reveal your own demands. Begin with defining values and positioning.
- The brand is not only a beautiful picture. Under each of its millimetre - you and your team. In the end, what completes the entire process is the strategy of your behaviour in the next 3 years.
- It is necessary to work not only during the repair of the company, but also after its completion. "Repair is easy to start, but never easy to finish," said Serhiy.
- It is important to honestly realise the relationship between what you would like to see and who you really are.
The participants were able to find out about the strategy of "legal boutique", its advantages and risks and the role it played in the market game, from Denys Bugay.
"The global trend is: big ones become big, average die, small become boutiques or become even smaller and more balanced."
According to the lawyer, the boutique is a real opportunity to capitalize on knowledge and skills and engage in your favourite business, while having a profitable profitability with reasonable budgets for BD/PR. In turn, the credibility of the boutique gives + 30% of the market price, and profitability is achieved through scaling.
During the second session, the participants discussed the IT sphere of the legal market. Moderator of the session Igor Markevich, partner of Amigo Partners, said: "Limited budget for IT is the same as a limited budget for business as a whole. It is hard to imagine a business in which IT does not matter. "
Alexander Mamunya, Partner of Aequo, spoke about innovation as an element of the legal business, noting:
"Today, the theory of Darwin should sound like this: The most adaptive survives. We must get used to the changes that happen in the external environment and innovation play a significant role in this game. It is obvious that the ticket to the Legal Tech train every year becomes more and more expensive, and if you do not engage in development today, then tomorrow you cannot get into the train, losing your own business and profession."
He also spoke about the EcoFriends system - one of the innovative tools that allows students to pass internship, in the number which is approximately equal to the average law firm in London. According to Alexander Mamunya, this system made it possible to make a significant step in the employment of young professionals.
Oksana Kumanska-Nor, deputy head of the State Technical University of Lviv in the Lviv region, spoke about the electronic services of the Ministry of Justice and about how such services might be useful to lawyers.
The speaker highlighted their main advantages, including reliability and security of documents, speed, convenient way of payment and working conditions. Experts also told about the services that can be obtained with their assistance.
Dmytro Gadomsky, CEO of Axon Partners, elaborated the selection of software according to the company's values. During the speech, he told about his own evolution of the transition from old software to modern examples of office programs.