We believe that how we work at Cullen Macleod sets us apart from the most other law firms. Our starting point is that no longer is law just (or even?!) an ivory tower ‘profession’. In contrast it, and we, are a business providing services, which just happen to be based on legal services. This starting point drives everything we do and how we work.
How we do that is best summarised in our recent LinkedIn article Innovation & Law Firms, Walk the Walk or Just Talk the Talk.
If you don’t have access to LinkedIn then we have cut and pasted for you here the main parts of that article:
“Innovation! - It’s the buzzword, the vision, the mission statement! Everyone is doing it!! (Apparently, if you read all the websites!).
You’re a small business, new to Perth. You don’t know many people yet. You’ve got a great business and you want a lawyer to help you make it fantastic (plus protect you against the things that might drag it down). You need leases, customer contracts, employment advice, all the usual. But you don’t know any lawyers yet, and anyway you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to ‘suit up’ to visit a lawyer in their City boardroom. Your business is taking 18 hours of every 24. You want someone to understand what it’s like to be you, to run your business, and who is flexible enough to help you out.
At Cullen Macleod we really do do things differently. And this is where this becomes a shameless plug (not what you are meant to do on LinkedIn but for once I will break that rule!~) ! Because we are proud of the continuous work we do to make sure that we walk the walk. We are constantly thinking about how we can do things differently. Our innovation committee’s job is to come up with ideas and put them into action to make things better and more efficient for both our clients and our staff. Because as some guy who knows a little bit about business (Richard Branson) once said – “if you look after the staff, the staff will look after the customers.”
So how are we innovative? Do we really walk the walk? Here’s a couple of examples that may make a difference to you if you are looking for legal services.
For large matters with many documents, we give our clients their own direct 24-hour access to their important documents online. No more misplacing that important expert report and having to wait until office hours to call and ask someone to find it and email it to you… again... . Some of our files are also entirely electronic.
If you would like a client portal for your file, just ask us… it’s free.
Before / after - hours / weekend appointments and hours
We know that sometimes you just can’t leave your business, or your family, during ‘normal’ business hours. Or you just don't want to. Tell us. We can work out a time that is good for you. We can also come to you. Our staff work a variety of flexible hours. With technology, in today’s world, we can work at any time, in any place. Personally, I have been known to open a second online office from Brisbane & Bali…
We are working hard to go paperless where we can. Most business in today’s modern business world can be conducted electronically and where we can, we take advantage of the time and cost savings this provides to us, our clients and the world at large.
Social events to connect people
We have regular social and education events where we specifically introduce you to our staff, and our contacts. You get to know us, which makes it easier to trust us to help you. Legal services are just one part of you and your business. We want to know you so we can best help you. We also introduce our clients and contacts to each other where we think they may have complementary businesses or clients. Business in Perth is people based; technology is great, but face to face contact cannot be beaten. And business is ultimately about connecting with other people who you can help with your service or product.
If you would like introductions to a specific group of people, or a specific person, ask us - we are happy to help.
Flexible charging arrangements
For many of our services we can give you fixed prices fees which equals certainty for you and your business cost base.
Speak and write in a language that everyone understands. Remove the old archaic language in documents - use diagrams / plain English, whatever method it takes to get our message across. We teach all of our staff to speak, explain and write in a language that everyone can understand. It is the information that is important, not fancy legal words.
We look after our staff
We really believe that without our staff, we have no business. They are our greatest asset and our staunchest supporters and we make sure that we look after them. From the standard yoga etc for health, to the more substantive allowing staff to take months of extended leave to travel, to paid parental leave for all staff irrespective of position or gender, to flexibility of working hours and mode of work. When our staff are satisfied and motivated, our clients and our business reap the rewards.
It is important when providing any service or product (law is just one more) to really think about how things can be done better. How can we make things easier / more efficient for each customer / client so that they can concentrate on their business? Technology can help so, so much, as you can see above. But the human aspect is the clincher. Whatever business we as law firms (or our clients) are in, we strongly believe in the fundamental aspect that it is just people providing a service for other people. And that includes legal services. Recognising the individual person means thinking about what they really need, what could really help them in their individual situation, and working out how to do that. Whether that’s a client portal, or just a 7 am appointment.
We think the above gives you a good insight into how we work, which is driven by how we think. What can we do that makes things easier / more efficient for our clients? We begin from that starting point and work backwards.
We then combine this with constant training and development of our staff. For us to give you the best possible advice, we need to be on top of our game, and highly skilled. To ensure that happens, all our staff take part in an employee development programme specifically developed for their individual skillset. They attend (and present on) many internal and external seminars on new areas of the law, better ways of doing things.
Due to this, we will know the latest developments in the law in each of our specific areas, and we will give you the best advice to enable you to make the best decisions. This will be provided to you by excellent senior lawyers, who will speak to you in language you understand, and provide you on point, practical advice based on up to date experience and knowledge. This will then equip you to make the most successful decisions for your business or individual situation.
That is our “how”.