Interesting to read the Jomati publication on the Welsh legal profession. We can certainly attest to some of the genuine novelty referred to by these experts in their review of the state of the sector in Wales.
Knowing your client and knowing your market are the key features of successful law firms as well as successful cities and regions. The financial and legal services sectors in Wales have a wonderful opportunity to create a new market for themselves and there’s little reason not to suspect this will happen with the development of Wales’ major cities. However, there is a danger that we focus on the new only, but to my mind new may not mean better. The key is to know where you are and to know where you want to end up. The route may need to be a new one or a tried and tested well-trodden path traversed with new trainers!
It’s probably a contradiction in terms to say that genuine novelty is present in existing or historical practices. Never one to duck controversy, I suggest that there is a real move ahead happening that in a clever and, yes, novel way links old ideas with new systems and thinking. For example, technology is making inroads into how professional, financial, insurance and banking services are delivered. Much can be done with a clever bot and some simple language. However, there is equally a place for good, old-fashioned face-to-face advice. In many moments of truth in our personal and working lives there is no substitute for real intelligence in place of the artificial kind. The empathy and connection of the relationship is very much sought after - just ask clients if you don’t believe me.
So the challenge is to do the new, the adaptation, the evolution and to do it well. Genuine novelty is harder to come by and I truly wonder if there is any such thing these days as a genuinely new idea anyway.
The prize of success in a new market borne of understanding of that classic blue ocean when all around are red oceans is right there before the Welsh professional and financial sector.
Winners may need less genuine novelty and more genuine collaboration to truly flourish.
Jomati found that the Welsh legal profession was “home to several practices that operate in genuinely novel ways” and Cardiff had “come very close” to attracting a few service centre relocations from UK and international firms.