It’s apparent to anyone working closely with the Bar that there’s been a major spike in both the number and seniority of recent BD and Marketing roles – with Sets now having designated and growing BD and Marketing Teams. There seem to be several key factors at play here:

  • Competition – this has been very evident. With multiple factors at play here – eternally, Solicitors are as keen as ever to retain work and there’s been an increase in higher courts advocates and those undertaking advocacy. Downward pressure on fees has seen Sets crossing into new areas and increasing competition that way. Inside the Bar,  Sets seeking the work are upping the ante, whilst those traditionally in those markets are having to work harder to retain business – it’s noticeable how much more aggressive this has become.
  • Professionalisation of the Bar’s support functions – we’ve already seen this in other areas across chambers administration, finance, fee management and practice management, where focused teams have already been created and it was only natural that BD/Marketing should be brought in to line.
  • The Bar seems less willing to wait – with junior Barristers, in particular, keen to push on and see results more immediately.  The market has moved  from its long held reactionary position to a much more pro-active approach. Marketing and business development also now takes place in a much more open forum, especially online, making it easier to keep eyes on the competition and react accordingly.
Where BD and Marketing differs from the other areas of support is how fluid they are. Once Chambers finance or administration operations have been realigned, then they should be fit for purpose for several years. By their very nature and the changing face of the markets, Marketing and Business Development cycles are much shorter, making this a key element of the business and one which must constantly evolve to be most effective – online and digital marketing is vital here.