When Michael Feakes, set up shop in February he wanted to offer his clients a different experience than the large corporate firms he’d practiced in for 20 years’. For a long time he’d seen how legal disputes could harry clients, and he knew a way to dial down the pressure.
Michael says, “People in stressful situations often feel more comfortable receiving instruction away from the dispute; whether that’s their home or workplace. But they can often feel daunted in a corporate office, and worry about fitting meetings in around childcare or other daily needs.”
So he decided there had to be a way to visit clients wherever they felt most comfortable and at a time that suited them best. Knowing that digital would allow him to be fully mobile, minimise the volume of paper he lugged around, and save on costs, Michael knew it was a win for him and a win for his clients.
And so it was proved. Feakes and Co specialises in dispute resolution, including probate and will disputes, employment matter and property litigation, with clients spanning the South East of Wales to the West Country. They’ve increasingly sought Michael’s help as he offers the same expertise as corporate law firms but a more customer focused service.
“When I visit clients, I’m able to open up my laptop and have everything I need at my fingertips: contact details, case details, client documents and more. It isn’t a novel concept but when it comes to running a business, digital is a very efficient in keeping the business as lean and as flexible as possible and means it’s in tune with how big a part technology plays in people’s lives.”
The business uses an online case management system – Leap – which stores clients’ details, manages their data and automates documents and Office 365 for content creation, storage and communication. And now the time Michael may have spent on managing files, searching for information or creating printed documents is focused on providing legal advice for his clients.
Having committed to a digital model for the business, Michael attended a workshop in March 2018 hosted by Superfast Business Wales on social media in order to focus on widening his customer base and ultimately generating more sales through marketing techniques.
“I was keen to get as much help as I could in developing my skills in social media as it was the one area in which I considered myself a novice. The course was an eye-opener – some of the suggestions sound obvious now, but were a complete revelation at the time,” said Michael.
Michael also received one-to-one digital advice which encouraged him to develop a social media strategy, giving advice on the type and timing of content, as well as top tips on the SEO value of the website, helping to ensure his online marketing is proactive and relevant.
“The business is still in its infancy, but I am keeping a watchful eye on the market and am hopeful that I’ll be able to expand and increase the number of lawyers in the firm to four or five, each of whom will specialise in different areas.”
“Any expansion will continue to be based on the digital and remote model, keeping overheads down and ensuring we are as flexible as is practically possible. I am convinced that being digital brings the business closer to people, where and when they need help most.”