THE NEWS AT CARBON

THE LAB REPORT #1


Greetings Carbonauts (is that a thing now?)

Before the silly season officially starts and many Partners and Hubbers take some well-earned holiday (which of course will have been noted on the new Carbon Calendar), I wanted to share with you developments in the Hub and some exciting future plans. I make no apology for the length of this update. Everyone needs to know what we’re doing and why – so please take 5 minutes to read on!

A SOLID FOUNDATION.

The past year has been a period of significant business growth for Carbon and our Partners. It’s great to see Partners continuing to grow their practices, increase revenue, widen their client base, land higher value work and in some cases, expand their own teams.

It’s also been great to see our Partner community double in size, with a wider range of expertise adding value to both individual Partners and Carbon’s proposition as a whole. We have seen some fantastic examples of collaborative working, and as a result, referrals across the business continue to increase.

We’re also working with a much wider range of quality clients who really value the way we work, and we have a growing presence in the market which will only continue to increase. We’ve built a great foundation, so what’s next?

FOCUSED ON YOU.

The next 12 months for Carbon is all about consolidation and acceleration. We remain firmly focused on our vision, to create and develop the conditions for exceptional people to flourish. We want to support Partners to continue to grow their businesses, develop the Carbon proposition and brand and for everyone to reap the rewards of Carbon’s ongoing success. We update you twice monthly on developments in Partnership Matters and Platform Alterations – please make sure you read them – they’re important - they let you know what is going on. Oh, and they’re short!

FOCUSED ON GROWTH.

My focus, following the successful completion of our funding rounds supported by Partners, is on the conditions we all need to flourish. You’ll hear more from me towards the end of the summer on Business Quality because, done right, this will be the reason why clients want to work with Carbon Partners in the face of huge choice. Watch this space.

First, however, I want to set the conditions for growth. This has caused us to consult Partners and think about how we do this, as well as piloting some ideas and trying some new things. Bringing all this information back to the Lab, we have reached some conclusions about what needs to be done. The first step is to formalise a Business Growth team with accountability for growing Carbon. I’ll focus on that today, but in the coming months I’ll shine a light on the other two divisions in this new streamlined structure – Business Quality and Platform & Operations.

BUSINESS GROWTH.

The Business Growth Division will come into being on Wednesday, so it’s DOB will be 01/08/2018. Business Growth will be led by Linda Bridge as Head of Business Growth, reporting to me.

Within this division, Linda will be responsible for leading a joined-up approach to how we grow. In simple terms we do this by serving more clients and attracting more Partners.

Alongside the work Partners do to build their own client base and practice, we have discretely started to build the foundations for centrally driven client acquisition at Carbon. Over the last few months we’ve been back in the Lab again testing several initiatives. So, we’re formalising the approach and taking the learning from our testing. We also need to ensure that all our messaging around attracting more, better clients and more Partners is all joined up. With that in mind the Business Growth Division will encompass Talent Acquisition, Client Acquisition (that’s new) and Brand & Communications.

I’m also delighted to confirm that we’ve appointed London-based Legal PR agency, Byfield, to develop the visibility of the Carbon brand in the legal and national press. Work started last week, led by Linda and with input from me and Judith. We expect to see coverage starting from September onwards – we’ll keep you posted.

TALENT ACQUISITION.

Attracting, onboarding and developing great talent remains an absolute priority for Carbon. Adele and Lauren will continue to drive our talent acquisition activity, scouting the market for top talent to complement our existing team and driving some new initiatives to raise awareness of Carbon in our target market. Our focus will be on building up our existing teams in Bristol, Cardiff & London and starting to grow in other regional locations with, Toni Sharp, our first hire in Birmingham starting with us this week.

I’m also delighted to announce that a new senior player will be joining us as Lead Talent Scout on 3rd September. Linda will make the introductions in due course, but he brings with him some great experience in recruiting, predominately at a senior level, with a major player in the headhunt market.

BRAND & COMMUNICATIONS.

A consistent and targeted noise strategy will play a critical role in supporting our Partners to grow their businesses, and to build Carbon’s brand in the market over the coming months.

As well as the commitment to public relations which I’ve mentioned, Judith and Miles will be working on some key initiatives, both offline and online, which will be designed to get in front of the right audiences, supporting talent and client acquisition and amplifying our Partner practices - benefiting all. We’ve got a great reputation with our existing network, but we need to drive increased awareness of who we are, what we do and why we’re different, to a much wider network, with the ultimate objective to drive sales.

The B&C team will also continue to act as the brand champions for any communications, both internal and external, and they’ll continue to support everyone in achieving their objectives.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.

Last, but definitely not least, we all know that continuing to nurture and maximise our existing client relationships, balanced with attracting new clients, is critical to delivering a healthy pipeline of high quality work. We believe that this is fundamental to our shared future success, so we’ll be implementing a new business development strategy focused on both these areas in equal measure. To support this, we are creating two new roles:

PARTNER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER.

Adele will be stepping up to a new role as Partner Relationship Manager. I am delighted to announce this promotion for Adele who has worked hard to grow our numbers, but also to make connections amongst Partners and with clients. This role will be primarily focused on supporting Partners to grow their businesses, working both individually and as part of a team to promote a truly collaborative culture, where we’re working together to maximise our existing client base and identify new opportunities generated by our Partners. As a key connector, Adele will be leading cross referral activity across the Partnership and will be supporting Partners to engage and strengthen existing client relationships. She’ll also be supporting development of the Carbon Flourish Programme, designed to ensure all our Partners are supported and developed in the right way to achieve their full potential. While still keeping her hand in with Talent Acquisition too!

CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER.

Adele will be stepping up to a new role as Partner Relationship Manager. I am delighted to announce this promotion for Adele who has worked hard to grow our numbers, but also to make connections amongst Partners and with clients. This role will be primarily focused on supporting Partners to grow their businesses, working both individually and as part of a team to promote a truly collaborative culture, where we’re working together to maximise our existing client base and identify new opportunities generated by our Partners. As a key connector, Adele will be leading cross referral activity across the Partnership and will be supporting Partners to engage and strengthen existing client relationships. She’ll also be supporting development of the Carbon Flourish Programme, designed to ensure all our Partners are supported and developed in the right way to achieve their full potential. While still keeping her hand in with Talent Acquisition too!

We’re also creating a new vacancy for a Client Relationship Manager for the autumn. This person will play a key role in driving our central client acquisition activity. We recognize that, given the strength and depth of expertise across the board, the time is ripe to start to go to market as Carbon, presenting the full-service proposition that you, our Partners, can now offer to clients.

Supported by our B&C team, we’ll be executing a targeted central strategy to connect, engage and acquire high quality, new clients for Carbon. Clients who share our values and appreciate how we think and work. The Client Relationship Manager will work closely with Adele to ensure all central and Partner generated BD activity is joined up.

Where clients are centrally sourced by Carbon, we’ll offer the resulting fee earning opportunities to Partners in line with their skills and experience as set out in the Authorisations Framework.

The fee share for all Carbon clients will be 50/50 to reflect the additional costs of originating new clients. Of course, accepting a Carbon client will be a matter of choice for Partners. The fee share level is competitive with market rates and still reflects an incentive of the typical law firm fee share which many of you will have experienced in traditional firms, where 30% of your billings (or less) were shared with you.

Linda and the Client Relationship team will handle all allocations going forward. If you have an opportunity from an existing client of your own, please don't send an All Partner email - please liaise with Linda and she will assist you and ensure the matter is set up to reflect the Referral Fee.

So, the structure of the Business Growth Division is as follows:

Next month I will share with you our focus on Business Quality and why this is fundamental to building the reputations of Partners and Carbon together. Then we will focus on sharing more about how the Platform and Operations team are developing and refining the platform we all use every day.

The last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented growth at Carbon and we don’t see any let up in that growth. Growing isn’t easy and at times we experience growing pains, but our resolve remains to create and develop the conditions for our exceptional people to flourish so they can pass it on! You know I love feedback and you know I believe we should always be where the client is first – so your reflections and comments are invited. On that note, I hope you all enjoy some well-earned holiday time.

MICHAEL BURNE

Chief Executive