The Panelist is a newsletter designed to help insurance defense law firms expand their insurance panel connections with substantive marketing and business development guidance. There is no charge for the newsletter, which is published two to three times per year. Contact us to be added to the mailing list.
CLICK ON THE LINK to read the March 2020 Coronavirus Issue of The Panelist.
Coronavirus Law Firm Marketing Plans
Strong communications between your law firm and your clients are particularly important during this COVID-19 pandemic. As a business owner myself and a law firm marketing consultant, I thought it might be helpful to suggest some guidelines on how to build an effective coronavirus communications marketing plan.
ABC – Always Be Communicating with Clients!
What: Start by reassuring clients that you remain open for business. Explain your emergency preparedness plans, including the extent to which attorneys are working from their business office or working from home. While many law firms have chosen to proactively push this information out to clients via an email newsletter, other law firms are simply posting news of their coronavirus plans on the “news” section of their website. Either approach is fine, depending on your preferences.
When: Start now, if you haven’t done so already, to publish your emergency response plan. It appears that the nation’s COVID-19 response will extend through April or beyond, so update your plan as needed.
How: E-newsletters like this are an ideal way to share news with clients and community members. Also take advantage of social media outlets, especially LinkedIn, and share news on your LinkedIn company page.
Click on the link to read the full article, ” Coronavirus Law Firm Marketing Plans.”
CLICK ON THE LINK to read the December 2019 Issue of The Panelist
Panel Counsel Marketing Checklist for 2020
Marketing committee members at insurance defense law firms can utilize this “Panel Counsel Marketing Checklist” as part of their 2020 business development planning.
#1. Current accounts represent 100 percent of your revenue base, so staying in touch with your existing clients is an essential form of client retention. A monthly e-newsletter is an easy way to stay top-of-mind with the carriers and companies that send you business.
#2. Articles in your monthly e-newsletter can include legal alerts, favorable case outcomes, attorney awards or recognition, community activities, and staffing news.
#3. Stay Current on Staffing News. Changes to the attorney roster—new hires, departures, speaking engagements, and awards—all have implications for the firm’s website and marketing materials. Plan in advance to keep everything current.
Click on the link to read the full article, ” Panel Counsel Marketing Checklist for 2020.”
CLICK ON THE LINK to read the October 2019 Issue of The Panelist
Target New Panels with a Market Penetration Study
A market penetration study at the state level can help an insurance defense law firm answer the perennial question, “How Can I Get on More Insurance Panels?”
By “market penetration” we are referring to an analysis that identifies which property and casualty (P&C) insurance companies have the leading market share positions within a state by line of coverage. Understanding this data will help you to cross-sell new lines of coverage to existing insurance carrier clients. If you currently work on private passenger auto cases for a client and you notice that the carrier also handles product liability claims, for example, you might suggest that you expand to include automotive-related product liability matters.
Click on the link to read the full article, Panel Counsel Growth with a Market Penetration Study.
CLICK ON THE LINK to read the Q4 2018 issue of The Panelist.
Law Firm Marketing Budgets and the Case for Business Development
Insurance is about quantifying and pricing risk of all types. In this issue you will discover the seven risk factors that insurance defense law firms may want to consider when prioritizing their investment in marketing and business development. Click on the link to read the full article in The Panelist for the 4th quarter of 2018.
Law Firm Marketing Budgets
Law firm were expected to spend 2.53% of firm revenue on marketing and business development in 2018, up from 2.5% of revenue in 2017. Looking at a mid-sized insurance defense law firm with 30 attorneys, let’s estimate that the annual revenue is approximately $8 to $10 million. Applying the 2.53% estimate above, the marketing budget would be in the range of $202,400 to $253,000.
Other topics in this issue of the panelist include:
- Mergers & Acquisitions in the P&C Insurance Industry
- HTTPS Recommended for Law Firm Websites
- Travelers Publishes Framework for Autonomous Vehicle Insurance
- Blockchain Adopted by Marine Insurance Companies
Click here to read The Panelist for Q4 2018.
CLICK ON THE LINK to read the Q1 2018 issue of The Panelist.
On Your Mark! Get Set! Go!
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games serve as a reminder of the tremendous discipline, stamina, and dedication to practice that each athlete brings to their sport. The business development process within an insurance defense law firm has many similarities. A successful race to attract new clients takes place on a competitive field, with participants from many law firms vying for the coveted position of panel counsel. Read more in this opening article.
The defense of employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) claims is also addressed in this issue. The “Me Too” movement may translate into more lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or discrimination, according to a Bloomberg Law report. EPLI carriers are moving toward the use of national employment law boutiques, however, making it more difficult for smaller law firms to compete.
Other topics in this issue of The Panelist include:
- Build Your Winning In-House Team
- The Value of a Business Development Coach
- Walmart Drops Panel Web Page
- XL Catlin Adds Marine Line
- Pennsylvania Homeowners Coverage
- Beazley Expands in Cyber
- Workers’ Compensation 2018 Trends
- Trucking and Transportation News
- Retail, Restaurants and Hospitality News
CLICK HERE to read the Q1 2018 issue of The Panelist. There are many more great articles!
Click on the link to read the Summer 2017 issue of The Panelist.
Marketing Lessons Learned from 100 Insurance Defense Law Firms
In the process of helping more than 100 insurance defense law firms de-mystify the panel counsel process, we have observed specific marketing challenges. While it is not easy to get on an insurance panel, our assistance has enabled many law firms to gain panel counsel appointments.
Click on the link to read five key lessons we have learned from our work with dozens of law firms in more than 25 states. The main trends we see include the move to regional law firms, insurance industry consolidation, continuing use of in-house counsel, law firm succession planning, and metrics management.
Click to read the Summer 2017 issue of The Panelist. There are many more great articles!
Click on the link to read the January 2017 issue of The Panelist.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Get on More Insurance Panels
Update your sales tools. An attractive website and firm resume, both featuring recent attorney photos and updated bio pages, will help to make a favorable impression.
Know your numbers. Metrics are important to the litigation managers who hire law firms. Make 2017 the year that you will either start a new case management metrics program or refine an existing one.
Figure out flat rates. Everybody talks about flat rates, but in truth it is difficult to arrive at a solution that serves the law firm as well as the carrier. Perhaps this is the year for you to test flat rates in certain parts of your practice.
Master the emerging technologies. Drones, ridesharing, and cybersecurity are all rapidly expanding coverage areas but few law firms have the necessary expertise. Build and promote these skills as one way to stand apart.
Click on the link to read the January 2017 issue of The Panelist. There are many more great articles!
Click on the link to read the Fall 2016 issue of The Panelist.
The Panel Manager Mystery
As insurance carriers continue to centralize claims management functions in a smaller number of central offices, insurance defense law firms are finding it difficult to maintain personal relationships with existing clients, or connect in a meaningful way with new claims professionals at current or prospective accounts. Read more …
Focus Your Marketing on the Future
There are so many advances taking place in the insurance industry these days that basing future law firm business development on past results is like looking in the rear view mirror to see on-coming traffic. Read more …
Click on the link to read the Spring 2016 issue of The Panelist.
While attracting new clients is often top of mind for the managing partner of a law firm, the reality is that day-to-day deadlines leave little time for new business development.
How to Become EPLI Panel Counsel
EPLI coverage often represents a dilemma for employment defense attorneys.
When an employer client has a claim that is subject to an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy, the law firm may discover that they are not able to represent their client in pre-suit or litigation matters.
Click on the link to read more in the Spring 2016 issue of The Panelist.
Click on the link to read the Q1 2016 issue of The Panelist.
Keeping Up with Panel Managers
Due diligence on the panel management process consumes a significant portion of our time. Every week we are on the phone researching how panels function at insurers and self-insured entities across the country. Recent developments that keep us alert to change include mergers, acquisitions, departmental reorganizations, and internal job changes.
Impact of Insurance Mergers on Panels
ACE and Chubb, Tokio and HCC, Allianz and Fireman’s Fund … the rush to consolidate continues. This is the most active insurance M&A market in a decade, according to industry experts. As these merged entities seek operating efficiencies through cost reductions, insurance defense law firms will want to assess their exposure relative to the target companies.
Click on the link to read more in the Q1 2016 issue of The Panelist.
Click on the link to read the Spring 2015 issue of The Panelist.
While you are busy attending to the daily details of running your law practice and retaining current clients, aggressive managing partners at competing law firms are studying how they can get in the door at your best accounts. In our work with dozens of insurance defense law firms, a profile of the successful rainmaker has emerged. Read more.
How to Talk to Panel Managers
The 2015 CLM Litigation Management Study was recently released, and the good news is that claims executives “perceive outside firms are doing a better job of understanding their needs” compared to five years ago. One opportunity for law firms, as identified in the study, is to delve deeper into the terminology and metrics that claims managers use to evaluate legal performance. Read more.
Click on the link to read the December 2014 issue of The Panelist.
Retailers typically maintain a self-insured retention (SIR) program that covers claims up to a specified dollar level. Risk categories, outlined below, are similar in nature to claims handled by insurers.
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Employment practices
- Commercial auto
Read the full December 2014 issue by clicking on the link.
Click on the link to read the Summer 2014 issue of The Panelist.
Insurance defense law firms that want to get appointed as insurance panel counsel for more carriers can branch out beyond the leading national firms. Here are five other options for new business development.
- State or Regional Carriers
- Self-Insured Retentions (SIRs)
- Former Clients
- Risk Retention Groups (RRGs)
- Business Associates in Your Network
Click on the link to read the full Summer 2014 issue.