Don’t mention the B-word!

We’re still in that limbo-period of uncertainess, not knowing whether there is a deal or no deal (I’m pretty certain Noel Edmonds didn’t drag it out ths long) and it’s continuing to cause uncertainty in business. I had a long chat with a client around data protection issues in all the different scenarios, and it was clear that we could do a huge amount of work, only for it to be highly likely to not be needed. It’s just that slim chance that it is needed though …

The online toolkits are pretty much ready for launch, with just a few tweaks around branding and such before they’re ready for some live testing with actual clients!

The e-learning platform (or content delivery platform as I’m supposed to call it now) is also coming on at pace – to the extent that I’ve even had to start drafting my own terms and conditions etc. in readiness.

It’s a busy few weeks ahead with some guest lectures at UCLan, the launch of Legal Hackers Preston, and of course some legal training and my other day job of actually practising law!

Posted by Phil in Uncategorised

What a busy summer!

A quick update on where we are at after two full months.

We’ve delivered training to the sales and delivery teams of a large tech company which, whilst it was classified as ‘legal training’ essentially revolved around the communication across the organisation and processes in place to ensure that contractual obligations were not only met, but achievable in the first place. The great thing about this session was that it started which each team firmly placing the blame for any previous failings at the feet of the other, but we were soon not only looking far more cohesive from a legal perspective, but were discussing ways to work better together across all areas of the business.

My ‘day job’ doing more traditional legal work has seen a couple of exciting new clients join the fold, and a major deal completed for a platform provider which was one of the most pleasant and easiest transactions I’ve done in a long while (albeit that it took a bit longer than hoped to get over the line). Great teams on both sides means everyone walks away from the deal better off.

The e-learning platform plans are coming along nicely, with user experiences now properly documented and it’s time to fully hand over the project to the coders to work their magic. We’re doing things a little differently from most platforms, so it’s not simply a case of copying the competition (and if it were, I’d have just licensed something rather than start from scratch!). In fact, given the feedback so far, I’m under strict instructions to refer to it as a content delivery platform rather than e-learning, as the proposed use cases go far beyond anything that e-learning could imply. Just like in legal work, the trick is to make sure that they’ve got great instructions so that everyone knows where they stand. So the instructions are all written and its now a case of assessing the different options in front of me. I’ve had a lot of great input from my own clients, and we’re likely to be working together on the project in a more formal capacity because quite frankly, they’re awesome. Just a case of slipping another role into their already hectic schedules!

I am delighted though that we are about to go-live on some online toolkits that live separately from the platform (at least for the moment) which have been created by one of the leading lights in the compliance industry. They cover data protection, health and safety, equality and diversity, and product recalls. A mixture of online learning, audit tools and template policies, they’re comprehensive but still adhere to my ‘keep it simple’ philosophy. It’s great working with like-minded people and I’m very excited about this alternative way of delivering legal advice.

We’re still looking for more law firms to partner with in delivering the platform and online toolkits, which can be white-labelled to your own firm to expand your service to clients, and of course to increase revenue – and of course will be offering it direct to businesses for their own internal training needs. If your firm is looking for an innovative way (ish – I’ll accept that ‘online’ isn’t exactly new) to deliver legal services, then please do get in touch and let’s start a conversation.

And of course those of you that follow me on LinkedIn will have noticed that we’ve had some Runner Ducks hatch who are amazingly cute and fascinating.

Posted by Phil in Uncategorised

Why I set up Simple Legals

After 15 years or so of practising law, I’ve seen some pretty major changes to the ways business operate but the legal industry has remained pretty consistent. “Leave the law to us, it’s complicated”. I call bullshit on that.

I’ve always been interested in continual professional development (arguably more so once I became a lawyer than when I was training to become one), and regularly attend workshops, listen to podcasts, watch webinars and read books on a variety of business topics. Whether it is sales or marketing, management skills, innovation and scalability, there are endless choices for self-improvement. Except there was very little based around law.

To be fair, employment lawyers are the exception here as they have been forced to adopt the tactics of HR professionals by offering workshops and updates so that they can stay in the game, but that aside it tends to be a half hour presentation at a networking event or conference in which the lawyer demonstrates how knowledgeable and experienced they are and is essentially just marketing their own services to you. No problem with that, but what if there was another way?

What if I want to train your staff so that you don’t need to use lawyers? What if I have no ulterior motive in giving the training simply because I want you to give me more work? What if I give your staff the same sort of training that I give junior lawyers?

Needless to say, not all my peers understood the business plan. Why would you want to train people to do it themselves instead of getting them to instruct us?

Well, I went on a marketing course last week, and it was brilliant. I learnt a lot, and hope to use some of that knowledge gained in my own marketing. But guess what – I’m not an expert. I haven’t suddenly gained the ability to run my own marketing campaigns single-handedly, or the ability to come up with great branding. But I have learnt enough to not make silly mistakes, and to understand where I need professional help (don’t worry, the website is due a makeover, but we’re just running with this one until the e-learning platform is finished so that it can all be branded and integrated at the same time). My accountant taught me how to use my accounting software last week too – and he wasn’t worried that it was doing him out of work.

So here it is. Simple Legals. Let’s uncomplicate law.

Posted by Phil in Uncategorised