@aligeary

March 22nd, 2011

Ali Geary

Anti-fraud, bribery and corruption Litigation Solicitor

Associate at Taylor Wessing

Today we’re tweeting w/ London litigation anti-fraud, bribery and corruption solicitor @aligeary

  1. @aligeary, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @aligeary?
    I’m an Associate in the commercial disputes group at international law firm @TaylorWessing. Author of http://bit.ly/htQe8e
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    my caseload involves white collar crime, fraud, asset tracing, money laundering and corruption as well as tech disputes
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    my firm represent lots of large public and private organisations as well as high net worth individuals
  4. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    in my field the Bribery Act is significant. It is also part of a wider trend of increasing regulation
  5. I want to talk more about the Bribery Act in a bit. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Great. I ask “Is there anything else I should know?” Knowing all the facts is essential to getting the best result
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    A high point so far was recovering £32 million in connection with one of the UK’s largest ever pension scheme frauds
  7. Wow – that’s a lot of money…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Indeed. I think our clients appreciate our frank, tailored and commercially focused advice
  8. Let’s talk about the Bribery Act then. Why is it so important? How does it differ from pre-existing legislation?
    It is a regime change. Most significant is the new strict liability offence for organisations that fail to prevent bribery
  9. How will it affect the business operations of companies active in the UK?
    It will most affect companies not currently required to comply with similar legislation i.e. the FCPA, however…
    all companies will need to reflect on their current policies and internal culture
  10. How big of a problem is fraud, corruption and bribery? How widespread is it?
    a recent survey of FTSE 100 Co.s by KPMG found 39% had conducted at least 1 internal corruption investigation during 2007-9
  11. Finally, is the Bribery Act expected to set the new global standard for fighting fraud and corruption?
    We await publication of the government guidance on the Act. This will be a good indicator of the UK government’s…
    commitment to fighting fraud and corruption globally
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    That I am lawyer and, if they haven’t already backed away, that I work in the field of anti-fraud, bribery and corruption
  13. First part never happens, I’m sure… When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives? Have they changed?
    I joined in March 2009. I spent a long time listening at first and slowly started to engage…
    there’s lots of talk abt the need to engage but I think some undervalue the benefits of listening to clients &contemporaries
  14. Excellent point. What does your firm’s leadership think of your social media presence?
    Thx. It’s v.positive. Our Managing Partner sent an email to the whole firm about @22Twts and this interview this morning.
  15. Nice! No pressure then…. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Absolutely.Next month, I am presenting to the legal team of a large multinational Co- all activated through Web 2.0 activity
  16. Congratulations on that. Let’s switch gears now: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Well,the Legal Services Act will change things a lot.I know this is something my firm is investigating http://bit.ly/hN5iMs
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Technology will play a much greater role. I see this as great opportunity….
    lawyers will be involved in increasingly creative and interesting work at the earlier stages of their careers
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be pointing out the emergency exits on a 747. I wanted to be an air stewardess as a child. They all looked so glamorous
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good lawyer who was passionate about her practice and a good bet when looking for a nice cup of tea and a chat
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    As well as the usual, trying new things. Recent projects include cupcake baking, falconry and tai chi – not at the same time
  21. Phew. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    I think it’s important to take stock of who you already know in the industry & how they or their contacts might assist
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    I would say -make sure you end up working in an area of law you are passionate about and all your hard work will be worth it

That great advice brings to close a great interview. Thank you so much for tweeting with us today; I enjoyed it very much

Me too. Thank you.

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@LegalBizzle

March 15th, 2011

Legal Bizzle

In-house commercial / contracts lawyer

Author of The Bizzle blog

Relatively ordinary person with a sense of perspective and a social conscience

Today we’re v excited to be tweeting w/ @legalbizzle, in-house commercial & contracts lawyer who’s been “saving your ass since 1999”

  1. @legalbizzle thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @legalbizzle?
    I’m a commercial contracts lawyer who trained and works in-house. I’m probably not as good as I think I am
  2. Can you tell us about your company. What does it do?
    We do outsourced customer contact and back office processing for private and public sectors. Service, sales, collections etc
  3. How do you describe your role at that company?
    I negotiate contracts and provide general advice. I also manage the legal team incl contentious work, reporting to the GC.
  4. Beyond the in-house services you provide, what are your company’s typical legal needs?
    Specialist contract advice (e.g. public procurement) and also regulatory advice, employment and debt litigation
  5. How many outside firms do you generally work with? Is that the right number?
    Two each for commercial work and debt lit, one for employment, and ad hoc for specialist. We don’t send much outside, so yes
  6. Let’s talk about your selection of lawyers. What type of sales / marketing pitch do you respond well to?
    One that recognises our difference from other clients, in terms of the nature of our business and our legal needs
  7. Makes sense…. And what sales talk is guaranteed to send you running? How often do you hear it?
    One that ignores our in-house capability and assumes that we need advice on basic issues. Too often, unfortunately
  8. Does social media enter into the equation when you’re selecting outside counsel? How?
    (1/2) Not historically, but there’s lawyers showing expertise on Twitter that would lead me to them if I had a specific need
    (2/2) We’ve done that recently, based on responses to a question that I tweeted. My boss now thinks I’m a social media guru
  9. What about fee arrangements? Hourly billing, alternative fees, etc: what’s typical for your company?
    We want caps or fixes on transactional work. Firms won’t ditch hourly billing for contentious work – this needs to change
  10. Couldn’t be more clear…. How important are perso relationships in hiring process? Do you hire lawyers you never met?
    Essential for core work (see my blog). For specialist work expertise has more weight but there’s still a personal dimension
  11. What does the Legal Services Act mean for you as a client? Better service? Lower costs? Something else?
    Very little so far. But the nature of our business means that there might be conflicts that stop us instructing some ABSs
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    (1/2) In May 2010. My aim was and is to have fun, but it’s been amazing for news, expertise, support, friends and much more
    (2/2) It has so many facets, why rule any of them out? So I’m happy to let it take me wherever it leads
  13. Great approach…. You blog (http://bit.ly/flEYxg) and tweet anonymously. Why the secrecy? Is it a burden or a relief?
    I prefer anonymity because I’m self-conscious about my writing, so it gives freedom in that sense. I try not to abuse that
  14. But in spite of your anonymity, your writing is often very personal. Is there a line between public & private? Where?
    (1/2) I don’t have much to say about actual law that others can’t say far better, so I blog about my work and my experiences
    (2/2) But there is a balance between being interesting and being responsible. I don’t know if I always get that right
  15. It certainly seems you do. You give out a lot of advice in your blog. Who is it for? Do you know if they’re reading it?
    I write for myself but I appreciate it a lot when people read or share a post. It’s exciting to contribute to a conversation
  16. We’re glad that you do….. What would you say is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    It seems there’s pressure on revenue, from legal aid cuts to ABSs. But the in-house sector is somewhat insulated from these
  17. What are the biggest legal issues facing in-house lawyers & how do they affect their employers’ ability to do business?
    In my work, the rise of coercive procurement practices, which leads to an imbalance of risk between buyers and sellers
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I studied philosophy at university, so if I wasn’t a lawyer I’d probably be sitting at home in my pants watching daytime TV
  19. :-) How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good lawyer, and someone who made a contribution to the success of the business that employs me. And as a good husband
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Sorry, I don’t understand the question… But sometimes I’m allowed out to see bands and spend time with my amazing wife
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Look in-house – we may hire more as we look to cut our external spend. But you need to show the right skills
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Read my blog? More seriously, knowing the law is standard, so develop your non-legal skills to differentiate yourself

Solid advice and yes, your blog is very instructive re real life as a lawyer. Thanks so much for the great interview!

Much thanks to @22twts and @LanceGodard for great interview – really enjoyed doing that.

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@Sobk13

May 5th, 2010

Natasha Phillips

Founder of Divorce Manual, Researching Reform and Pod It Forward

Ichthyomaniac and crocodile lover

Renegade Lawyer

Today we’re tweeting with renegade lawyer @Sobk13, who mediates between order and chaos.

  1. @Sobk13 thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Sobk13?
    A mythical gatekeeper to Divorce Manual.In his spare time he terrorises tweeters & takes his pet Goblin Shark for twitstream swims..
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    It’s legal research & journalism based, working with families, pressure groups & politicians to help create dialog & offer solutions
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mothers and fathers with contact or financial disagreements but ultimately I represent the best interests of the children involved.
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting all of those clients?
    The issues seem interlinked but usually start with a breach of one of the Human Rights Conventions & involve prohibitive legal costs
  5. What do you tell your new clients before you start working for them?
    Well, there are no explicit by-lines; I just ask what it is I can do to assist and then I try to listen, as carefully as I can.
  6. Makes a lot of sense…. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    They’re all significant in their own way; briefs can seem identical at first but all are multi-layered so no 2 cases are the same.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Usually because they’ve lost faith in the legal system and can’t afford to pay more fees; I work pro bono as a McKenzie Friend.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Ongoing dialog with pressure groups & families in the system; it’s not typical but really ought to be standard government practice.
  9. What’s the hardest part about working with parents and children going through divorces?
    Staying focused on the various forms of suffering each party’s experiencing. They’re all relevant & need to be treated with respect.
  10. You work with groups seeking reform in the English Family Justice System. What is that system? Why is reform needed?
    A legal forum 4 family matters like divorce & adoption; it needs reform because our understanding of the human condition has evolved
  11. Interesting notion. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tend 2 reserve those occasions for a little mischief; one evening I might be a Spanish biologist & another, a secret agent for MI5
  12. So perhaps we’ve met and I didn’t know it… When did you join Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    Quite possibly :) & 2009, I think. I’m a Techno Bimbo trying 2 rise to the challenge & learn 2 engage with families on social media.
  13. :-) You blog at Divorce Manual (http://bit.ly/btNeW7) & 2 other sites. What are your blog objectives? Are you meeting them?
    To expose the real problems in the system & to involve lay people & professionals. I really hope the blogs meet these objectives.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’m grateful to the net for providing me with a platform, it’s very good for referrals but word of mouth still pips it to the post.
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I don’t believe in brands; they make me think of sheep & wool..! I prefer to be open about my views & be myself, for better or worse
  16. It seems to be working fine… Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In Family Law, I think it’s about the working legal culture in place and its need to evolve so that it can offer a relevant service.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    To my mind for UK Family Law, a more humane place, with families beginning to trust the system a little more.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Become a mermaid and play in the sea, eating pralines passing sailors threw me or work for UNESCO on matters relating to children.
  19. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I have a lovely son; he is currently learning to Death Roll. When I’m not parenting, I love to swim in pools or ponds.
  20. Congrats. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a scaly little crocodile with mischievous nostrils.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    For UK Family lawyers, it’s a great time to re-invent their practice. There’s a huge demand for ethical, family-friendly services.
  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Hold on to your ideals, let go of fear, practice with compassion. And never underestimate the power of the whoopy cushion.

Thanks for that great advice! And for tweeting with me today–it was a real pleasure learning about you and your practice.

Thank you very much for having me on ; it was lots of fun being interviewed and I wish you all the best :-)

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@michaelscutt

November 5th, 2009

michael_scutt2Michael Scutt

Employment law solicitor in the City of London

Partner, Dale Langley & Co

Author of Jobsworth, the employment law blog

Today we’re tweeting with solicitor and blawger @michaelscutt, who has a niche employment law practice in the City of London

  1. @michaelscutt thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @michaelscutt?
    I am Father, husband, cat-owner, blogger, solicitor, writer, Arsenal fan, gadget fan, cyclist, cook – in that order
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    We are a 2 ptnr niche full-service employment law practice. We give practical, cost-effective, jargon-free legal advice
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    employees of all levels of seniority mainly in banking, finance, legal and IT sectors but also SMEs and owner managed bizs
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Employees: 2 equal: redundancy and will I get a bonus? Employers: how to reduce costs without making redundancies
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    How much I charge, what my time estimate is, ask what THEIR ideal solution to their problem is and what I can do to help
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    An equal pay and bullying/harassment case involving senior female banker. We got a good settlement before trial
  7. Congrats to you and your client. Why do your clients hire you?
    Thx. Virtually all work gets referred to us by recommendation from previous clients, other lawyers, HR, contacts etc
  8. Nice recognition of your work! What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Thx. Advising on severance agreements, grievance /disciplinary procedures, employment contracts, restrictive covenants. Yes
  9. How has the economic crisis “changed the game” with respect to employment law? Has it changed for good?
    Clients are much more cost conscious and put fee estimates before any other qualities of their lawyer. Yes, it’s the future
  10. Interesting. How do you market your practice?
    word of mouth referrals (see above) networking in “real” world, journal articles, website, my blog, Linked In, Facebook
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I say I’m an employment lawyer who can solve all their problems! Re: employment law of course! mainly I just try to listen
  12. You blog at Jobsworth (http://bit.ly/3mBjXo). What are your goals for the blog? Are you meeting them?
    Yes: it raises my profile and I’ve made some good contacts through it. No: conversion rate of enquiries 2 clients needs 2 improve
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    I use our recently redesigned website http://bit.ly/u3R3w also Linked In and, sometimes, Facebook. Wikipedia is next.
  14. Intrigued re Wiki… What specific impact on referrals / client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    direct client engagement hard to say. Other contacts: great. I now lecture on Tesco law because of a referral via my blog
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Probably 1 – 2 hours per day average, mostly in the evenings and on train. Addict! My wife says she is an internet widow
  16. And now you’re online at 9pm for this…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    No worries. Kids have finally gone to bed! Undoubtedly the introduction of full legal deregulation …
    via external ownership of law firms in 2011 – so called Tesco Law. Many lawyers here only just waking up to it
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    V few generalist and fewer mid-size law firms, more small specialised law firms, few high st giants, more IT / virtual lwyrs
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    My wife says I’d be happy! Probably be in IT – as a social media consultant. At school I wanted to be a forester
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I think I’d just like to be remembered
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Look after and play with my 2 small kids, cook, write, go cycling/running, occasionally go out with my wife – in that order
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t despair, be flexible, be imaginative, use social media to make contacts. Network!
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    2 things; (1) good luck and (2) Be humble; lawyers don’t have a god-given right to a living

Valuable advice. Thank you very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice.

I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you very much for having me on your Twitterview.

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@London_Law_Firm

July 21st, 2009

christopherjsherlikerChristopher J Sherliker

Founding Partner of Silverman Sherliker LLP

Fly fisherman and one of the “coolest lawyers on Twitter”

Today we’re tweeting with @London_Law_Firm aka Chris Sherliker, fly fisherman and one of the “coolest lawyers in London”

  1. @London_Law_Firm thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @London_Law_Firm?
    Hi, Lance! I am the ‘voice’ of our firm on T. Lawyer, Husband, Father, Web Marketer, Dog Owner, Fisherman, Artist. Renaissance Man!
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Silverman Sherliker is a full-service law firm in the City of London. Founded 1980.Now 30 lawyers strong and growing fast.
  3. Congrats on nearly 30 years of success. What type of clients do you represent?
    Our client base is very diverse.Many US and EU clients.A huge range of SME’s.We have all kinds of clients all over the globe
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Diverse issues!The world is changing fast affecting clients in different ways.The need for effective legal services endures
  5. Indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “What are you trying to achieve?” – Until you know the answer to that one you cannot hope to give an effective service.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    We broke the UK Opticians Cartel for US client, changing UK law on eye prescriptions opening up a new multi-million $ market.
  7. That *is* significant…. Why do your clients hire you?
    We are a down-to-earth, no-nonsense, entrepreneurial firm. WYSIWYG. No pomposity. No surprises.(Well…only good ones!)
  8. Good surprises = the best kind. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Very busy in IP-Just been accepted for Chambers Directory for IP work(hooray!) also litigation, labo(u)r ;-) and family law
  9. Your firm also provides services in Mallorca as Mallorca UK Legal. How does it differ from Silverman Sherliker?
    Mallorca UK is srvce fr expats who move to the Balearics but still have assets in the UK needing mngemt- its a service brand
  10. How will the reforms of the Legal Services Act affect your practice and firm?
    The LSA = deregulation and intense competition in the UK legal market.Big & ‘High St’ firms will suffer bt gd 4 niche firms
  11. From this side of the world the changes appear revolutionary. How do you market your practice?
    Politically motivated! Best ad is a happy client! Also client seminars, e-wire newsletters, speaking engagements, networking..prayer
  12. How does Twitter fit into the traditional BD / mktg you’ve done since you founded your firm nearly 30 years ago?
    ..(these lights are killing me…my face needs powder…also a drink would be nice..Oh! how kind :-)
    We were 1st UK law firm to do TV marketing (horror ;) We are No 1 London firm to TWEET. It pays to be first and its huge fun
  13. Perhaps we’ll see those TV adverts on YouTube one day…? Besides Twitter, what other Web 2.0 tools do you use?
    LOL Hope not! We hve a rolling website dev program. We hve about 12 micro-sites now ..3 more in development..also a new blog
  14. Interesting. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Web is the single biggest source of new clients and new work. No question. The web referral model is also growing fast in UK
  15. Nice validation of your efforts. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I spend 110% (or more) of my time enhancing the business( hot under these lights, isn’t it? Hi Mom! … Hi Dad! :). )
  16. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The Legal Services Act will kill off 50% of trad UK law firms. Significant enough? Many ‘000’s of new niche firms will arise instead
  17. So what will the legal landscape look like in 10 years, then?
    Total sea chng in the next 2 yrs.Institutions will tk much of market from trad law firms.Niche firms and brands will be born
    …any chance of a drink …its 9.25pm here..Mrs London_Law_Firm is on the prowl :-(

    We’ll have you out of here and on your way soon….
    …no problem….I enjoy a good game of tennis! :-)
  18. Sounds like significant opportunities for many…. How do you want to be remembered?
    He was a brilliant lawyer and a good guy ..and he could mix a really mean Vesper Martini #twepitaphs (I invented this, BTW)
  19. More cutting-edge stuff on 22 Tweets…. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I wld write, fish, TWEET, spend more time with Mrs London_Law_Firm. Maybe a real estate developer or travel writer or both.
  20. That reminds me – still waiting on that report from the Dordogne… What do you do when you’re not working?
    You will *not* believe that Report! I spend time with my wife, family and my dogs. I fish. I paint in oils and watercolors. I tweet.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Recgnse the legal world has chngd forever. Its not you. Its progress.Find the need. Meet it. Become a referrer of legal work
  22. That’s a positive message. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Learn web marketing skills. Do your own thing. Do something different.Take joy in service. Love your clients, (even the mad ones!)

Useful advice to close this great twitterview. Thank you very much for answering our questions today

C’etait un vrai plaisir!…Vive le .!.. goodbye Legal Tweeps….see you on the other side! Have a great evening, one and all!

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