Posts in Blog

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Clients receive industry recognition, with a little help from Scala…

May 11th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Clients receive industry recognition, with a little help from Scala…”

The 2017 awards season is well and truly upon us, and at Scala we think it’s important to recognise the hard work of our clients (and join them in celebrating their successes of course!)

Awards are a great way to showcase your business achievements to clients, recognise staff members and benchmark your success.

We’re not even half way through the year and Scala clients are already enjoying award shortlisting’s and wins!

We’re very proud to work with all our clients and are delighted to share their successes so far….

Parklane Plowden

This year sees Parklane Plowden celebrate 10 years since it was formed following the merger between Park Lane Chambers and Plowden Chambers in 2007. What better way to celebrate than with a few more awards on the mantelpiece!

A massive congratulations to everyone at Parklane Plowden  Chambers who won their first award of the year –  ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the 2017 Modern Claims Awards.

The awards ceremony took place at New Dock Hall, Leeds on the 27th April and celebrates cross industry success and talent.

With the first win under their belt, we’re keeping our fingers tightly crossed for further successes at other industry awards that they are shortlisted for:

Rebmark Legal Solutions

Rebmark are enjoying continued success and kicked off what promises to be an exciting year with a double win at the 11th Annual ACQ5 Global Awards.

The awards ceremony which celebrates organisations and individuals that have achieved outstanding commercial success in designated areas of expertise, recognised Rebmark as the UK’s ‘Niche technology offering of the Year’ (legal).

Managing Director, Mark Hewitt won the ‘UK Game-Changer of the Year’ (legal).

Mark’s success has also been recognised by Yorkshire’s Insider Media, who awarded him a place on their coveted 42 under 42 list for 2017.

The list, which celebrates the regions brightest business talent, recognised Mark for developing award-winning software, including piCalculator and noiseAssist.

Mark, along with his fellow members enjoyed the annual 42 under 42 dinner at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on the 27th April.

We’re also delighted for Rebmark who have been shortlisted for two awards at the 2017 Claims Management Awards.

  • piCalculator – ‘Best use of Technology’
  • caseAssist – ‘Claims Innovator’

We wish all our clients the best of luck in their shortlisted categories.

If you need help identifying relevant awards to highlight your capabilities and successes, or support with writing and submitting an entry, contact us at: office@scala.uk.com, 0114 4070159.

 

 

 

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Interview with Scala MD Natalie Rodgers

May 10th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Interview with Scala MD Natalie Rodgers”

Scala MD Natalie Rodgers, sits on the Parklane Plowden Executive Management Board, advising on marketing and business development strategy.

She recently gave an interview, which featured in the Modern Claims Awards programme.

To read the article, please click here.

 

 

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Barristers – Are you guilty of claiming to be something you’re not?

May 5th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Barristers – Are you guilty of claiming to be something you’re not?”

Following the recent Bar disciplinary tribunal reprimanding and fining Michael Wolkind QC over claims made on his website, including the assertion he could ‘get Stevie Wonder a driver’s licence’, the Bar Council have responded by issuing a caution to barristers when advertising themselves on websites and other means of marketing such as email and social media.

Having recently (February 2017) updated the guidelines for barristers using social media (which can be viewed here), the Bar Standards Board offers advice to be applied in both a professional and personal capacity. Due to the inherently public nature of the internet, it is imperative to remember anything you publish online may be read by anyone and could be linked back to your status as a barrister and your chambers.

You might be surprised to learn that barristers were first permitted to advertise back in 1989 when the 4th edition of the Code of Conduct (has anyone still got a copy?!) was released. Back then no one could’ve predicted the impact social media and its various platforms-twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to name a few would have on our lives.

Many at The Bar understand the importance of online advertising and social media in promoting Chambers, individuals and the profession generally. Here are the main things to remember to help you engage confidently with online advertising and social media.

Act with Honesty and Integrity – just as you do in your daily legal work, it is important that this dictum extends to your marketing activities. Barristers must not mislead anyone when making claims about their knowledge, experience or ability. Comparing yourself to another barrister is an absolute no-no! Using quotes and testimonials from lay and professional clients is fine, but always make sure that you have the relevant consent beforehand. When quoting legal directories, you must not be selective!

For example, here is an extract from a Legal 500 recommendation, “One of the best negotiators on circuit; he is a highly effective communicator and never gives up”. Quite an accolade, but barristers should not be tempted to misquote it as The best negotiator on the circuit!”

Trust and Confidence – don’t ever post anything that may undermine your honesty. When it comes to advertising Public Access work practitioners are governed by the same rules regarding advertising as the rest of the Bar.

Confidentiality – it is totally acceptable to refer to reported cases that you have appeared in, or where the case was heard in open court. However, where a case hasn’t been reported but it is of significance to your practice profile, you need to follow a few general rules. If you want to mention a client by name make sure you get their permission first. If a case is ‘ongoing’, take extra care to avoid saying anything that may be prejudicial, particularly if there is an appeal pending. You might also want to run it past your instructing solicitor to ensure that they don’t have any objections to you mentioning that you are instructed on the case.

 

If you need any help with online marketing contact us at Scala on office@scala.uk.com, 0114 4070159.

*Source : Twiplomacy

 

 

 

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St Ives Chambers are hiring!

April 3rd, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “St Ives Chambers are hiring!”

St Ives Chambers, Birmingham is flourishing…and following a strategic business review are creating a number of staff roles to support Family Finance and Family Groups, as well as creating a new Marketing team.

They are looking for hard-working, enthusiastic and skilled individuals who thrive in a busy, team-centric workplace. This is a genuine opportunity to join a forward-thinking and ambitious Chambers who are focussed on delivering the highest quality service possible to a local and national client base in several key practice areas.

Chambers are currently recruiting for the following roles:

MARKETING MANAGER

St Ives’ Chambers has a newly created position of Marketing Manager who will join the management team. They are looking for an individual with experience in an established marketing position, who ideally holds relevant qualifications (degree level).

Candidates must have experience of delivering marketing strategies to a high standard. Experience of staff management is desirable. The ideal candidate will need to be resilient and have an ability to build rapport with people in various capacities, from those who hold senior judicial positions, to graphic designers.

 

MARKETING ASSISTANT

A new role of Marketing Assistant, who will work closely with the Marketing Manager has also been created. This junior role will suit someone starting out in their career who is keen to work in a professional and supportive environment. Whilst some experience of marketing is desirable, it’s not essential. If you have the right attitude and you’re extremely organise, this role is for you.

 

FAMILY FINANCE PRACTICE MANAGER

Following a strategic business review St Ives’ Chambers has a newly created position of Family Finance Practice Manager who will join their busy clerking team. Chambers is receiving an increase of work in this field and has created the role to ensure they continue to deliver a high quality clerking service to their prestigious client base.

They are ideally looking for individuals with experience in an established clerking role. Candidates must have experience of delivering practice management and business development services to a high standard and possess strong communication and interpersonal skills. Experience of Lex or Meridian software would be an advantage.

 

FAMILY FINANCE ASSISTANT PRACTICE MANAGER

Chambers also require an assistant family finance practice manager to assist the practice manager in all aspects of clerking; including managing barrister’s diaries, assisting with billing and liaising with clients and external legal contacts.

Previous clerking experience is not prerequisite to the role, but working in a legal environment would be an advantage. You’ll need to be a confident communicator, quick thinking and highly organised.

 

FAMILY ASSISTANT PRACTICE MANAGER

Due to a continued growth in the level of instructions received by the family team in chambers, they are seeking an Assistant Practice Manager to join the busy Family Clerking Team.

 

The closing date for applications is 14th April. To view the full job descriptions for all of these roles and for details on how to apply, please click on the link which will take you to the STAFF VACANCY page on their website.

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Live-streaming service for lawyers – how, why and when to do it.

March 28th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Live-streaming service for lawyers – how, why and when to do it.”

Live-streaming for lawyers

This week we are delighted to announce the launch of our new ‘Live-streaming’ service.

We’ve decided to move our video marketing services up a gear by offering a live-streaming service (using YouTube) to our clients, giving them access to a whole new world of interactivity.

Video marketing is featuring heavily in the strategy of those working in the legal and professional services sector.  Often clients come to us unsure of how they can harness video marketing without creating a “cheesy” Managing Partner piece-to-camera style film. We’ve all seen…and cringed at them! This new live-streaming service takes away will enable you to enhance your online profile.

Live-streaming is a really easy way to create online video content for your Chambers or firm because chances are you’ve already got an event or presentation in the pipeline that’s suitable for filming.

We’ve teamed up with our video partner, Whistle Video, to offer this new broadcasting service. Together we will guarantee the smooth running of the live broadcast – from setting up your YouTube channel; briefing the presenters; promoting the live-stream and filming on the day.

 

Preparing to live-stream

Before live-streaming any event you will need a verified ‘YouTube’ account. We are happy to manage this on your behalf and will add all the relevant logos to keep your YouTube Channel in line with your company branding.

YouTube is such an effective tool when communicating with clients, especially those too short on time to attend all your events – or those keen to keep their expenses down!

Once we have set-up your channel, had it verified and enabled the live-streaming function, we will set up your first live-streamed event. This will include the event title together with an informative description and creation of a custom URL for your live broadcast. The information can be shared on your website and social media channels to promote the event and encourage people to tune in. By adding a watermark across all videos on your channel, viewers can directly subscribe to your channel during every broadcast, increasing your subscriber numbers.

The great thing about live-streaming is the level of ‘real time’ interactivity it allows you to have with your audience. Parklane Plowden Chambers utilised this service on Monday 27th March at their ‘Discount Rate Repercussions’ discussion and could answer questions not only from those in attendance but also from viewers using the live chat facility.

 

What are the benefits to lawyers live-streaming

We’ve already mentioned the increased level of interactivity live-streaming can offer and here are just a few more benefits of this new service.

  • Google owns YouTube, which means that there are huge benefits to your Chambers, law firm or company’s SEO.
  • Cost Effective – live-streaming is a great addition to any marketing strategy. A YouTube channel is free to set up, therefore the only costs involved are the time it takes to do all the pre-film preparation and hiring a cameraman (with the right type of camera) and you’re good to go!
  • Client Care – by introducing a live-stream option at your events, existing and potential clients can still ‘attend’ even if they are short on time, money or want to involve a high number of employees.
  • Showcase your expertise – discussions on recent topics and events will engage with your target audience, whilst reminding them that you have an expert in that particular field.
  • Introduce new products and services – YouTube is a low cost, yet highly effective way of introducing something new to clients whilst at the same time allowing you to answer any questions.
  • Community – live-streaming is a great way to create a community, by inviting your audience to comment ‘live’ they are not only interacting with you, but also with each other.

If you’re interested in live-streaming, we’d be delighted to help.

Contact us at office@scala.uk.com, 0114 4070159.

 

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Scala supports client in their bid to change the law

March 23rd, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Scala supports client in their bid to change the law”

Switalskis Solicitors have vowed to support their client, Bronwyn Watson, with her campaign to bring about a change in the law following a decision by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to not make an award arising from her being a child-victim of voyeurism.

Bronwyn Watson was 15 years old when her step-father secretly filmed her in the bathroom of their family home. She discovered the indecent images of herself, along with other indecent images of children, when she was 18 years old. Her step-father was subsequently sentenced to seven months in prison for taking indecent photographs of a child and voyeurism.

Despite the crime having a profound effect on her, last week a Judge sitting in the Administrative Appeals Chamber found that because the crime was neither violent nor classed as a sexual offence, she was not entitled to recover compensation. Bronwyn and her solicitors are pressing for a change in the law to widen the current scheme to individuals affected by new digital-age crimes.

To view the judgment, please click here.

Scala – PR services for the legal sector

Scala is supporting both Switalksis Solicitors and Bronwyn with the PR for their campaign.

We have circulated informative media releases across regional and national news outlets using our extensive PR contact lists. 

By effectively managing the PR and liaising on behalf of our client, we have already secured Bronwyn and Jim Littlehales, a Barrister in the Criminal Defence department at Switalskis Solicitors an interview with BBC Essex. The audio from the interview can be listened to here.

Due to our strong links with a number of legal publications, the case has also been featured in the Solicitors Journal, please see link below: https://www.solicitorsjournal.com/news/201703/voyeurism-victim’s-lawyers-call-reform-criminal-injuries-compensation-law

If you require any support with your PR, please contact us on: 0114 4070159, office@scala.uk.com.

 

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Email Marketing – The Importance of Permission

March 16th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Email Marketing – The Importance of Permission”

For a company, sending out a mass email or newsletter is an extremely useful marketing tool. Not only does it provide your customers with free, useful information it is also a great way of keeping in touch with existing clients.

Newsletters can include information on your services, products and any events that are upcoming. And by sending regular newsletters, be them monthly or quarterly you are likely to establish a stronger working relationship with your clients.

By placing a newsletter on your website, not only are you generating traffic you are also giving clients the opportunity to sign up for more. This is a great way of gathering new email addresses for future newsletters of potential clients.

However, if you have a list of potential ‘target’ clients the sign-up process is going to take a little bit of extra work!

If your list of email contacts is extensive, a great way to circulate professional and bespoke newsletters is to use sites such as MailChimp. This is the world’s leading email marketing platform, and not only does it make designing and creating newsletters easy, it also ensures they’ll never go to the wrong person.

The importance of Permission

Prior to sending any newsletter, it is imperative you remove any email addresses of people who have not expressly asked to be on your list.

The key to a successful newsletter campaign is ensuring you have the permission from all of your subscribers that they want to receive it!

To ensure you have received written permission from every subscriber, and avoid being blacklisted or mistaken as spam, MailChimp have created double opt-in forms which take care of this for you.

Double Opt In.

This is a two-step process, which you can design and send to new subscribers prior to them receiving any newsletter.

Step 1 – a new subscriber fills out your online signup form.  This is their first contact with your brand, so keep in line with your branding. Set up a welcome email introducing your company, and even consider an incentive such as prize draw or special offer to new subscribers.

Step 2 – they click a confirmation link in a follow-up email allowing permission for them to added to your MailChimp list. This contains a unique URL, which a new subscriber has to click to be added to your list. Again, MailChimp allows you to design this stage in keeping with your company brand and style.

 

The benefit of Double Opt-In is that it adds a layer of confirmation to the sign-up process, ensuring your list isn’t clogged up with bad addresses containing typos or invalid emails.

This double confirmation should also reduce the number of complaints from subscribers who may forget they’ve agreed to signing up.

By adding this additional layer to the permission process, MailChimp guarantees your newsletters will only reach confirmed subscribers resulting in more successful campaigns.

Archived records of subscriber’s consent are also stored on MailChimp.

 

If you require any support with marketing strategies and activities, we’d love to help.

Contact the office on: 0114 4070159, office@scala.uk.com.

 

 

 

 

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A glimpse of what we’ve been up to…

March 14th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “A glimpse of what we’ve been up to…”

Scala clients love to plan…and we love to help them do it.

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation”… so said Robert H. Schuller. (I don’t know about you, but there is something deeply reassuring about a person who uses the first letter of their middle name as form of punctuation.) It therefore makes sense that much of the work we’ve undertaken in the first part of 2017 has involved planning for the year ahead.

We’ve been planning a marketing strategy to help promote the 10th anniversary of the formation of Parklane Plowden Chambers; which includes (amongst other things) organising a Summer Party (yes – I dropped the S-bomb before anyone has dug out their flip-flops) and devising a social media strategy using #Est2007.

We’ve also been working with Switalskis Solicitors to produce a plan to promote their move into the South Yorkshire legal market following the opening of new offices in Sheffield and Doncaster. Scala has been retained by the Yorkshire-based law firm for over 18 months, overhauling their marketing processes and activities, as well as devising key brand messages which culminated in us producing this stunning (can you guess we’re rather pleased with it?) marketing video.

New clients, SpectraLegal have also been working with us to plan and implement the launch of their unique ‘Court Fee Funding’ solution. We’ve supported them by writing and circulating their press release, as well as designing and producing a flyer to promote the funding product to delegates attending the recent Claims Conference. These activities have been backed up by an intensive social media campaign to support the launch.

But that’s enough about planning for the time being…there is work to be done putting some of our clients’ plans into action.

Natalie Rodgers, Managing Director, Scala

If you require any support with marketing strategies and activities, we’d love to help.

Contact the office on: 0114 4070159, office@scala.uk.com.

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2017 – It’s time to focus on your Marketing.

January 6th, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “2017 – It’s time to focus on your Marketing.”

As we enter 2017, most of us have already made our New Year’s resolutions – whether we stick to them is another matter! This blog aims to give you some ideas on refreshing your marketing activities how to improve your approach to marketing which will help you to achieve your 2017 business ambitions.

Here are just a few resolutions that you may consider as we kick off the New Year, along with ways we can help you accomplish them.

 

Be honest with yourself

Analyse what has and hasn’t worked for you in 2016.

Look at the data you’ve gathered on where your work has come from. Having a robust file opening system in place will help you to do this.

You can also use tools such as Google Analytics which will help you gather data from websites and apps to gain vital customer insights. What’s been your most popular blog? What page of your website is most frequently visited? Are you getting enough visits to pages about your key service areas?

It’s also important to be honest about your firm’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s always prudent to conduct some research and understand exactly what your reputation is. To help you, at Scala we design and send customer feedback surveys for you. You’ll gain valuable insight into what your clients think of you and it’s also an easy way to gather testimonials and statistics that will enable you to craft some fantastic marketing messages to use throughout 2017.

 

Review your website

This is an easy one to start with. You probably have a good idea where the weak points are, but take a closer look and prepare a comprehensive action list of what needs to be done.

Is the content up to date? What’s the design like? How is the site’s functionality? Is it mobile friendly? Are profile photos looking a bit out of date? Were the blogs you posted last year regular and relevant to the areas of the business you are looking to grow?

At Scala, we can review your website for you and make some suggestions as to how it can be improved. We provide a copywriting services for clients, from website copy to blog writing or staff profiles. Google loves websites that are regularly updated and we can help you to keep your website active and relevant so that potential clients can easily find you.

Ensuring that employee website profiles are up to date is crucial. In large organisations where there are regular staff changes, not only does this equip everyone in the firm with knowledge about their colleagues, it also informs existing and potential clients of the expertise available. Remember: updated profile information should also be added to LinkedIn profiles.

 

Engage more with social media

Love it or loathe it, social media is a powerful tool in your marketing toolkit. It’s also free. So if you’re not active already then now is the time to be. By identifying and utilising the most appropriate social media platforms for your business you can increase your brand visibility and interact with existing and potential clients.

Use your social media accounts to inform clients of any recent successes or updates. Regular blog postings and news stories are a great way to do this, along with joining any relevant conversations and discussions online.

Whilst social media is free, your time isn’t which is why we offer a social media management service. At Scala, we can help by managing your accounts for you, writing content, posting it across social media accounts and providing feedback on any useful leads whilst dealing with any enquiries on your behalf.

 

Develop a strong brand

Having a ‘strong brand’ includes a multitude of things. It’s about clients being able to identify not only your firm name and logo but also know what your stand for. This could be an area of expertise, where you are geographically or your firm’s ethos. The aim is for clients (old and new) to be able to know, like and trust you to help them.

By getting to know you and your business ambitions, we can work with you to create a brand that not only captures the essence of your business, but also one that remains consistent and relevant to the services you offer.

 

Try something new, like video marketing

We’re not suggesting you take up skydiving, but maybe have a rethink about your approach to marketing. If you have played it safe with your marketing plan in 2016, let 2017 be the year you try something new. By working with you, we can review what is and isn’t working and suggest new and exciting ways of promoting your business.

Have you ever considered a promotional video? We can create a video that is imaginative and reflects your brand, helping you to share it across several platforms along with your website.

Look at our latest promotional video for our client Switalskis…

 

Reconnect with professional contacts

Now is a good time to clear up your database and update all your contacts, making sure you’re speaking to the right person is a serious advantage in business; influential people in an organisation can open doors.

We know this seems like a mammoth task, but it can be easily delegated to a team of people to make it achievable. Set members of each team targets as to who they need to contact and reconnect with, and even consider taking on someone looking for work experience who could help you update your database!

 

Send out a newsletter

The start of the year is the perfect time to start a Newsletter, there are significant benefits in doing so, not only is it a cost-effective way of communicating with your target audience, it also showcases any successes and developments. Newsletters also offer immediate, trackable results.

Make sure that you prepare a newsletter plan. Do you want a weekly, monthly or quarterly newsletter? Allocate tasks to different team members, it may be to decide on the theme or to write content to be included. A key part of any newsletter is your marketing messages and a newsletter can deliver these to your clients in a creative and personal way.

 

So, if you need help keeping your New Year’s Marketing Resolutions contact us at:

office@scala.uk.com, 0114 4070159.

 

 

 

 

 

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Whitlam’s Law

December 19th, 2016 Posted by Blog 0 comments on “Whitlam’s Law”

Whitlam’s Law – Sentencing of Gary Green

Scala is assisting with media liaison on the tragic case of Harry Whitlam, an 11 year old boy who was struck and killed by a reversing tractor on 9th August 2013.

The tractor was driven by Gary Green, a self-employed farmhand who was found to be over twice the legal drink-drive limit at the time of the accident at Swithens Farm, Leeds. The police were unable to bring a criminal prosecution under the drink-drive laws because the accident took place on private, not public land. Instead, Mr Green was prosecuted by the HSE under Health and Safety at Work legalisation, for which the sentencing powers available to the court are considerably lower.

The Case

On Tuesday 13th December 2016, our client Switalskis Solicitors supported the Family of Harry Whitlam at Leeds Crown Court where Gary Green was sentenced to 16 months and 2 weeks after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety legislation over the incident.

The driver of the tractor, Gary Green was twice over the legal drink-drive limit when tested at the police station two hours after the collision. Expert evidence revealed that he had consumed the equivalent of 13 pints of beer up to 2am on the morning of the accident.

A breath test at the scene of the accident showed a reading of 90mg, with the later test at the police station showing a reading of 74mg. The legal limit for a drink driving offence under the Road Traffic Act is 35mg.

It was also revealed during the court hearing on Tuesday, that Green had two previous drink driving convictions. This was something that was not known to the family until the sentencing hearing.

The HSE brought a prosecution under Section 2 (3) of the Health and Safety Work Act, with the maximum sentence available to the judge being two years.

Had the police been able to bring a criminal prosecution case, Gary Green would have been charged with ‘Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs’, section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which holds a maximum sentence of 14 years.

Whitlam’s Law

The sentencing has highlighted the need for a review of the penalties available under Health and Safety legislation for offences of this type.

Harry’s mother Pamela Whitlam, her family and Switalskis Solicitors are launching the campaign ‘Whitlam’s Law’.

Whitlam’s Law is calling for the law to be changed to:

  1. A) Alter the drink-driving laws to cover offences that take place on private, not just public land.
  2. B) Amend the sentencing tariff for HSE prosecutions of this nature to bring them in line with criminal sentencing powers.

#Whitlamslaw – https://www.change.org/p/the-road-traffic-act-1988-whitlamslaw-make-drink-driving-laws-apply-to-vehicles-being-driven-on-private-land

Scala are handling media liaison for both Switalskis and the Whitlam Family.

Please contact us with any queries: office@scala.uk.com, 0114 4070159.