How Thomas Legal have grown by making greater efficiencies with tech

Thomas Legal is a specialist property law firm based in Gloucestershire. Having been operating for over 10 years, the firm has grown from strength to strength, building a reputation for speed, innovation and excellence.

However, despite such a sustained period of growth, the firm recognised that 2019 was set to be a difficult year. “With all the uncertainty around Brexit and everything else, we saw that people might not want to move home. Half of our business comes from repeat customers, so we knew that this was likely to go down.” Said Chris Barry, Business Development Manager at Thomas Legal. “The other half of our business comes from introducers such as estate agents and large mortgage brokers”

Anticipating that the year might not be as profitable as past years, Chris and the rest of the team at Thomas Legal put plans in place to cope with the reduction in repeat business. “We decided to focus more on our introducer relationships.“

Establishing Relationships for Growth

Chris Barry, Business Development Manager, Thomas Legal

Chris continued, “we established relationships with a lot of big mortgage brokers and networks as well as some developers. Also, rather than dropping our prices, we enhanced the service that we provide and that worked really well.”

“We managed to improve our conversion rate for turning people we speak to into clients from about 50% to over 70%. It ended up being our busiest year since we started all those years ago.”

This enhancement in service included the introduction of a dedicated Business Development Team, who focused on strengthening the relationships between introducers and their lawyers, offering support through every stage.

Improving Communication

Communication also proved to be a key factor in helping Thomas Legal to grow their business. Chris added, “We had to make sure our communication is on point, being proactive to keep clients updated every step of the way, which is something they really appreciated. We also made sure that clients had access to our direct dial, so they could get hold of us any time, day or night”

As users of Access Legal's Portal, communication is easy for Thomas Legal. Access Legal's Portal gives them the ability to message clients and share documents and milestones securely. Clients can also complete forms over the portal, which are then saved against the file automatically.

Efficiency Through Integrations

Indeed, technology proved to be one of the biggest factors in driving Thomas Legal’s growth, whilst also being one of their biggest challenges. “We implemented a new onboarding app that reduced the time spent on ID verification immensely. We also understood that conveyancing is quite an archaic process so we have to try to be more innovative and forward thinking to help us provide a great service to our clients.” Chris continued, “We have to ensure that manual keying of information is reduced to a minimum, so integrations with third party software is an important time saver. For example our integration with the Land Registry Portal, allows us to easily submit documents to the Land Registry and conversely, obtain documents from Land Registry straight into the case file.”

“Access Legal really underpins the entire operation. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to even sustain the level of business that we were achieving, let alone grow it. Access Legal is the solid foundation we needed to succeed and grow.”

Such is the success of Thomas Legal over the past year, they have been nominated for the Business Growth Award at the Modern Law Awards 2020.

Osman Ismail said: "As a software company it is our job to give law firms the tools they need to succeed. It seems Thomas Legal have done that well and we're delighted that they've had such great success.

"As Chris says, conveyancing can be a long and laborious process, which is why we have done everything we can to make it quicker and simpler. We've taken a lot of the time out of completing forms and integrate with a number of third-party point solutions as well as the Land Registry Portal. This is all to help our clients become more efficient and profitable.