Boutique law firm benefits from Omnis advice
Perth’s Glen McLeod Legal is a planning and environmental law practice that provides authoritative and strategic advice and conducts significant litigation for clients in the Supreme Court, Magistrates Court, State Administrative Tribunal and commercial arbitration.
Their highly specialised team provides legal advice on planning and environmental law, in particular on how to obtain approvals, compliance issues, plus a comprehensive service for land compensation and valuation law claims.
Principal, Glen McLeod, first started working with Justin Flavel over 10 years ago when he was a Partner at a major national law firm and has sought Justin’s assistance ever since he started his own boutique law firm.
Now heading up his own firm, Glen’s business is experiencing significantly impacted profitability assisted by Omnis Group’s astute business advice. With that comes monthly reporting around productivity, average hourly rate and efficiency.
According to Glen, Justin has a completely different approach to practice management.
“In this environment we have the flexibility to innovate and change direction in a way you can’t in a big law firm,” says Glen. “We don’t have that problem, so we have created a business that is different culturally in how we organise ourselves, which marries with Justin’s services and makes for greater efficiency.”
Knowing the business is performing efficiently allows Glen and his team to focus on what they’re good at. Glen is recognised as one of Western Australia’s preeminent environmental and planning lawyers with a resume of experience as long as your arm. He was also awarded the WA Law Society’s Lawyer of the Year in 2016. As such Glen and his lawyers are in high demand as experts in planning, environmental and climate issues.
“We can adopt Justin’s recommendations very quickly in a way that you can’t in a large firm,” says Glen. “We’re using technology more than most in our profession – some clients come to us not purely thinking they’ll get better value for money but expecting a better level of service.”
“With Justin’s advice we continually explore ways to improve our business and invest in key areas.”
The business went through some reorganisation when there was a changing of the guard in 2018.
Omnis Group were on hand to assist. Since then Omnis Group has been engaged to provide all bookkeeping including setting up a cloud accounting system and fortnightly payroll runs. Every month Glen, Practice Manager Heather and Justin then go over the business’ financial accounts to ratify strategy and set profitability and expense targets.
“It’s also exciting making inroads into technology, although it can be a challenge,” says Glen. “Saying that, we essentially operate a paperless office with no filing cabinets thanks to Xero and Dropbox. Being small we can look at ways to exploit technology that frees us up to concentrate on looking after our clients.”
Working with Omnis Group in this way has allowed Glen and his team focus on the completion of client work, including streamlining their invoicing processes. After getting used to monthly reporting with Justin acting as a business mentor, the legal firm smashed all performance targets by the end of the year, which was a major pat on the back for everyone involved.
“Strategic advice is good for our business to monitor and track where we’re heading,” says Glen. “Justin can be frankly honest if you’re not performing which is a good thing. You need people to tell you the way it is.”
“It’s not just about saying pull your socks up you need to do better; Justin devises creative solutions for our business such as meeting more frequently as a team. Because of the way we bill, it helps us to have three meetings per month and streamlining those. Justin helps with recommendations on what we should cover on the agenda. It has made a big difference.”
“From my experience, I would definitely recommend Justin and Omnis Group. Justin is well supported by a network of other professionals so he thinks laterally about how his services can be provided to assist us and takes the trouble to really understand our business.”
“It is significant that, over the years, others have tried to get me to take my business to them but Justin’s personality and ability has kept me loyal.”
Being a well-performing boutique law firm sits well with Glen McLeod. Changes are coming in fast and furious in Western Australia’s property sector and the firm can respond accordingly. As such, Glen will be presenting at a Legalwise seminar on property law on 13 March covering planning in bushfire prone areas, strategic planning for the Perth metropolitan area and coastal planning.
“This session provides information that explores all the new legislation, new cases, new trends and practical skills so that we can all stay up and date and not fall behind,” added Glen.
Further details on this event can be found at http://www.glenmcleodlegal.com/events/.