BE THAT LAWYER LIVE!: International Business Development for Lawyers with Clare Fanner and Catherine O’Connell Part 1

In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Clare Fanner, and Catherine O’Connell discuss:

  • What is happening with the economy and legal industry in the UK and Japan.
  • Why Japanese businesses are looking to invest outside of the country.
  • How COVID helped to elevate business development and marketing for law firms.
  • The way in which LinkedIn has changed marketing and business development.

Key Takeaways:

  • Many lawyers in the UK, like in the US, do not want to be back in the office full-time with traditional working patterns.
  • Digital advertising is on the rise in Japan, though it is currently behind the rest of the world.
  • Be where your clients are and advertise there.
  • Social media has allowed lawyers to be more personable and authentic in a way that they’ve not been able to do before while still being able to show up and show their expertise.

“There is a new breed of lawyer and leader that is not afraid to be different and so they are challenging the norm.” —  Clare Fanner

Connect with Catherine O’Connell:  





Connect with Clare Fanner:  




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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

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lawyers, japan, people, business, firms, law firms, linkedin, marketing, claire, steve, legalese, legal, clients, uk, years, helping, catherine, selena, sector, award


Narrator, Steve Fretzin, Gregory Eisenberg, MoneyPenny, Jordan Ostroff, Practice Panther


Narrator  [00:05]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer, coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time, greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.


Steve Fretzin  [00:27]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I hope you’re having a lovely and fabulous day. Today we’re going to mix it up a little bit. I’ve been doing these be that lawyer live events, and we forgot to put the recordings on the podcast. So we’re going to start off with one really amazing one. These are two friends of mine, Claire fanner of the UK, and Catherine O’Connell, who’s in Japan. And what we talked about was International Business Development for lawyers and how do you sell into other countries? What are the different intricacies of working in and out of different countries? And how do they do business development and marketing differently in one country to another so I thought I found it fascinating. Interesting. I hope you will as well. Enjoy the show. All right, everybody. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to be that lawyer live gone international. I am Steve Fretzin, your host and I hope that you’re having a lovely day, a wonderful day. We’re gonna have some fun, we’re gonna have some great conversations. If you’ve never heard the show, be that lawyer before. It’s a show all about helping lawyers to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized and a skilled Rainmaker, every single week, twice a week, we’re bringing on amazing guests to talk about how to grow your law practice, how to live the best life you can live. And guess what today is no different. We’re doing a special episode. Today. It’s not only being recorded live with an audience, a studio audience. Now we’re not a studio audience. But we’re not only live but we are also going to be, you know, interacting with people that are on the that are that are in our audience today to see if they’ve got questions or comments. Regarding our topic today. Just a moment about the show, you know, this is we’re coming up on 200 episodes. And also, it’s been an hour 40,000 downloads. As I mentioned, this has all been a part of my spirit of helping lawyers, through my books through my videos to my podcast, so that everybody can get value from the content that we’re providing. And if you’re interested in talking with me directly about what I do happy to take that call happy to take that email. Fretzin only does two things. We work with lawyers, individual lawyers, not law firms, but we work on an intensive level like an MBA, but in business development, through classes and through one on ones and through really partnering with our clients to get them to the next level. We also currently are running five peer advisory roundtables. This is an opportunity for you as a business developer as a rainmaker to get into a confidential room with other lawyers and talk shop outside of your law firm and the way we talk. We bring in guest speakers we work on our businesses together, we share our goals, we work on our challenges. It’s a lot of fun to do that. But enough about me and what I do. Let’s talk about our two guests today. We’ve got Claire Pfanner. And Catherine O’Connell. We’re going to introduce you to in a moment want to thank our sponsors money Penny if you’re in the UK or the US you probably know money Penny really well. They work on your website with live chat they also more importantly do in addition they do the live reception so many attorneys currently have that phone tree, you know, hit one for this too for that people getting voicemail. It’s not a good idea these days. You want to get the business in the door. People call you got to have a live receptionist. Thank you Moneypenny for being a great partner and sponsor. legalese has been my partner for I know what a couple of years now at least right Greg two, three, going on


Gregory Eisenberg  [03:40]

three years together. We


Steve Fretzin  [03:41]

  1. Oh, my God. All right. I know I was fine. It has been flying. And so legalese. They helped me with my website. They helped me with my law Maddix, my newsletter, my social graphics, this event was put on by legalese. So Greg, how do you do it? How do you help your legal clients with their marketing,


Gregory Eisenberg  [03:58]

we like to make the process of marketing fun. Again, there’s three things that really make us different one, we really focus on processes automations, like you said, building out those CRMs. We were started by an attorney. And so we know exactly what attorneys or law firm owners need. Additionally, we put content before distribution. So just like all the awesome content that you put out, Steve, that everybody sees. That’s why things are so successful, because we focus on what content is going out, and then how we’re getting it out. Usually people say here’s five social media posts, but they don’t focus on what those posts are going to be. We’re really focusing on the opposite. And third, we make it look good. We have a really good creative team. We like creating stuff that’s engaging, that pops that captures eyes and so we’re here for anything that people need on the marketing end. We want to make it fun for them, make it a great process and help their firm reach that next level. So thanks for having us, Steve. We’re happy to be here.


Steve Fretzin  [04:48]

Absolutely. And you know, it’s amazing that lawyers struggle with marketing and then they don’t think to just outsource it right. It’s not something they have to do. It’s not something have to spend all their time on and not focus on the law and helping their clients you can outsource the legalese as I do, and I’ve sent a ton of people their way. And it’s, it’s just, it’s just sort of a no brainer. But again, you got to consider your marketing as an investment, not as a cost. So, that being said, let’s move on. I’m gonna introduce you guys one at a time. Let’s start off with our late night are in Japan, Catherine O’Connor, welcome to the show. And would you mind just give it a little background on yourself, and then we’re gonna hit Claire at a moment.



Hey, Steve, thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to be here. And it’s just after 10pm in Japan Friday night. But I have been looking forward to this. I love Steve and working with her. And I’m so very glad to be here with Claire as well. So I am based in Tokyo. I’m originally from New Zealand, I’m a multi award winning Tokyo Bay, senior business lawyer, coach, mentor and a law podcaster. I’ve got an international practice here, focusing really on corporate and commercial and general business legal services. I coach and mentor, legal professionals, executives, and I also emcee at diplomatic level events. So I’ve been in Japan 20 years, and my firm is really based on providing access to the law. Everyone wants a lawyer and their business, but not everyone can afford someone full time. So I provide outside General Counsel services, so that someone doesn’t need to really hire someone full time on the legal team on the business team, they can get me in there just to help them out. Last month, I was awarded foreign lawyer of the year 2022 In Japan law awards and are super, super excited about that, because that’s exactly the basis of why my business model and so I’m really glad to have that endorsed. I’ll pause there because that’s enough about me just for a moment in a nutshell there, Steve.


Steve Fretzin  [06:40]

Yeah, we’ve got one more you’re asked you also became famous a few years ago, I think for being or for number of years ago for being like the first female solo in Japan foreign. Yeah, I’m



actually That’s right. 2018. I have first foreign female to establish a law practice in Tokyo. So I’m still holding that title. And I would like someone to challenge me on it.


Steve Fretzin  [07:01]

Let’s all come on. Let’s all come abroad and let’s do it. Alright, good stuff. Thank you so much. We’ll be back to Catherine a moment. Let’s talk to Claire fan. Er, welcome to the show.



Thanks, Dave. Thanks for inviting me and Catherine. Wow, what a what a CV, you’ve just blown me away with everything you do and have achieved it’s admirable Landon. And you’ll still have gone 10 o’clock at night on a Friday. So well done. Well, thank you. So my name is Claire foreigner. I’m from the UK, I live in a small place in the south of England. And today for us, it’s two o’clock in the afternoon or just after and you’ve got us on our summer’s day. You know, England’s not renowned for great weather. Well, it’s currently 30 degrees and boiling hot and humid. And so we’re all complaining like crazy. But we need to make the most of it because I’m sure the rain will be back soon. My background I’ve been in marketing and business development for 30 years. The first half of that was in financial services, working initially for some insurance companies and then in the financial services sector around mortgages, so real estate connections, and then I came across to the legal sector 15 years ago. And my first observation I know we’ll move back to this in a minute was how the legal sector was so behind financial services, and maybe something we can talk about later. But I’ve been working with law firms now 15 years in the first 10 years of that I worked specifically with two law firms in the south of England. And I was their marketing director, marketing and business development director. For the last five years I’ve been a consultant. So I work with a handful of firms on strategic marketing projects, helping them have the right focus goals direction. And during lockdown, I created this thing called the Law Firm marketing for and it’s basically a community is a membership organization. And through that we run a series of webinars. And Steve, I had you as a guest just last month, we run a series of webinars, we run collaboration sessions we have in person summits and conferences. We do research. And basically we’re giving law firms the tools to help them do better marketing, as I put it. So yeah, without going on and on. That’s my background. I wish it was as impressive as Katherine’s with all of her extra little bits and bobs. But I’ve been doing it for a little while reasonably well known fellow of the Chartered Institute of marketing, so got the right credentials. Yeah,


Steve Fretzin  [09:26]

and I’ve heard you both on the show before so if anyone’s interested in hearing the full 30 minute interview with both Catherine and Claire, feel free to check that out and be that lawyer on your Apple iPhone, Spotify or my website So let’s start off with a think a great intro question, which is the economic client in your countries and I’ll start with the US and what’s going on. We’ve got a couple things going on here that are crazy. Number one is our our market is tanking. We’ve got a pending recession. Lawyers have never been busier than they are right now. with actual work, and we have the great resignation, where they’re having a really hard time finding help, and lawyers are getting paid record salaries for doing the same work they were doing yesterday, just because that’s what the market is happening. So let’s start with Claire. And let’s end we’ll go to Katherine, that what’s going on, economically in the legal space in the legal industry in the UK right now,



you’ve pretty well just nailed it, you know, all the points I was


Steve Fretzin  [10:27]

gonna make, oh, my God, I totally messed up



on my thunder. It’s the same at a simple level, you know, we’re taking a massive hit, the economy’s taking a massive hit. Yesterday, we had interest rates rise for the fifth time since December, their highest level for 13 years. It’s only one and a quarter percent, but it’s all relative. I think inflation is currently at 9%. And it’s expected to go up to 11%. We’ve got challenge on supply chains across all sectors. So last week, you may have noticed our queen had a rather special celebration, or two weeks ago, her Platinum Jubilee, a lot of people were trying to get away on holidays and travel industry ground or halt because they didn’t have staff, legal sector. So busy, they can’t keep up with demand, a lot of firms are having to turn away business, that a lot of firms are putting up their prices, because they can and they’re being selected. And they’re challenged around resources and people and keeping the good quality staff. So it’s given a lot of focus on not just pay, but cultural aspects of why people will choose to work in different places. So basically the same Steve with a little bit of extra information in


Steve Fretzin  [11:36]

I got one more piece I want to ask you about and then we’ll move to Katherine and that is around the working from home versus in the office. Now is that how is I’m not gonna say what’s going on in the US. I’m gonna let you have that this. Thank you, thank you.



I’m just gonna sit here and say, ditto through the whole webinar.


Steve Fretzin  [11:54]

I’m not gonna I’m gonna hit you guys first and then then I’ll just I’ll be the one saying Ditto.



Yeah. So like everyone, I think around the world, we obviously all had to work from home during COVID times and had to very quickly established a way of doing that for achieving that having the right technology systems support. A lot of people now in the legal sector more than other sectors are don’t want to go back to full time working in the office, you’ve got firms taking very different approaches, a lot of the regional firms are pretty relaxed, looking at a hybrid arrangement, being flexible, very, very focused on well being and getting the balance, right. And I think this ties into that whole recruitment retention piece. So there’s a piece there. Okay, then you’ve got a few a handful of larger firms down there, I say at some of the city firms, a couple of whom have stuck their neck out and said, No, we expect you to be in the office so many days a week. And that’s created a lot of uproar, if you like. And then this week, there’s been a lot in the news about introducing this thing called the four day working week. And it being a more structured formal thing. So we’re seeing, seeing a number of changes in what we would call traditional working patterns.


Steve Fretzin  [13:05]

Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. Thank you. And Katherine, let’s step back and talk about the economic climate in Japan and how it’s impacting legal industry. And I’m not going to say another word.



Well, big picture, I mean, this new, we’ll call them new Prime Minister Kishida. He only got in, in September last year. So he’s Japan’s 100th. Prime Minister is loves that title. But he is now facing an upper house election on July 10. The borders at Japan, you know, at Narita shut still only if you’re a special foreign business person, can you come in, or if you’re in a tour group. So you know, he has a lot of people who are in the older population, who support him. And they’re actually saying they’re quite happy to not have any tourists back in Japan. That is a real problem. He has got a good rating. But recently, he’s taken a bit of a hit public discontent growing over the very weak yen and inflation, the Japanese currency, if you’ve watched the markets, you saw it slid, slide slid, slide to a 24 year low this week. 135 against the US dollar. That is amazing. And it hasn’t been like that since October 1998. So we’re, we’re going through that, right. And also, you know, they’ve got the octogenarian leader of the Japan bank, the Bank of Japan, saying that this is positive, that’s going to bring a whole lot of income, a whole lot of spending, companies are going to be having increased earnings and increased capital investment. And so we’re hoping that he’s going to be right on his prediction, you know, and then again, I guess Japan is struggling with an elderly population. And that’s sort of impacting outbound m&a in a really good way. So lawyers are, like Claire mentioned, very busy, especially without external m&a. It’s very hard to get businesses sold in Japan because they’re 90 70% of them are SMEs SME so small sized business mom and pop shops. And so people are looking to Ward’s overseas and have got a lot of funds saving sitting there. So companies are looking to invest outside and they’re looking to the UK they’re looking to us and to Australia and New Zealand. So there we go.


Steve Fretzin  [15:19]

Yeah. So it sounds like we’re not too different as a relates to, you know, sort of the craziness that’s going on in our various countries.


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Steve Fretzin  [16:56]

And let’s flip the switch a little bit to marketing and business development. Obviously, that’s that’s our game, right? We’re talking about that all the time. That’s what we’re trying to help lawyers with? How has legal business development and marketing changed in the last, you know, 20 years? And Claire, you know, you’ve been kind of doing this for a long time. Give us how you’ve seen things, you know, kind of evolve over the last 20 years in your from your take.



Yeah, I mean, I, I came into legal sector, as I said 15 years ago. And my first observation there was how backward I don’t mean this in a negative sense. But backward. The legal sector was in the UK as far as its marketing, and BD was concerned relative to the world I’d come from. So where it was more sophisticated, I suppose. And, and that was a combination of perception of marketing and BD. So a lot of lawyers still felt that it was all about just about relationships. And if they just leveraged those relationships, that was enough. And then the other key thing that was on every law firms marketing plan was the annual summer drinks or Christmas drinks party. So there was pretty simplistic and I’m generalizing here yesterday, not quite this straightforward. But that was kind of the world I came into at a simple level, there wasn’t a huge amount. I mean, social media was still I guess, relatively young, 15 years ago, which is what I’m talking about. But there wasn’t a huge amount of focus on content, and on necessarily helping individual lawyers to position themselves as that key person of influence and that go to person. And the strategies were more around looking after existing clients, and those relationships, lunches, parties and so on. With maybe the odd law firm newsletter. Definitely I did. Do you guys have or did you have something called Yellow Pages? Does that ring a bell? Yeah. Okay. I mean, God forbid, but it took many, many years of no, that’s not the way to spend your bulk of your marketing budget. But that’s what we did 20 plus years ago, don’t get me wrong, it worked for a time. How’s it you know, move forward to two years ago. So let’s go pre pandemic. Before I bring it right up today. We’ve definitely moved the dial, we’ve definitely moved the needle, there’s a better understanding of the importance of visibility, engagement with social media, looking at using technology and diversifying, so actually networking in a broader sense, looking at strategic partnerships, so joining forces with the local accountant, ifas, bankers, etc, etc, corporate finance houses, and just being smarter in how you collaborate and work together, then COVID hit two years ago, and I think COVID From a legal sector marketing and BD perspective, has been a good thing for us marketers and B ideas because it’s suddenly elevated our importance as firms have realized that we are specialists in our area as they are as lawyers, if that makes sense. And actually there is craft, there is an art there is science behind a lot of what works and what doesn’t work and and how to do it and to do it well. So we’ve seen an acceleration of people engaging around more strategic approaches, not just doing what we’ve always done. But taking time to sit back set goals, set ambition, be very clear about the type of clients they want, and then have some very clear, smart plans about how are we going to get those clients? And so there’s been a massive change in what we’ve seen in the UK. And hopefully that gives a reasonable picture of it.


Steve Fretzin  [20:34]

Yeah, it sounds like it’s a, it’s a much more thoughtful approach versus more of just a social being out there, you know, spending money social meeting with people, which again, is still great to do. But I think now there’s a function of social cohesive,



yeah, you’ve nailed it. So whereas before, they were doing a lot of the right things by by default, you know, relationships, that’s not going away, that’s still absolutely top of the list when it comes to you know, where you’re gonna get your business from. But it’s more structured, it’s more cohesive, it’s more focused, and it’s more accountable to sort of tracking it and managing it and understanding numbers a bit more.



Yeah. Terrific, Catherine. Yeah, I



think those are super, super points there. I think Claire’s really summarized it. I think in Japan, if I just focus on on digital marketing right now. And in the last two years, you got to really know those digital trends in Japan especially, it’s really key to have a marketing strategy. Most firms and in house counsel teams have an in house marketing group, but they don’t really go externally. They don’t go to the pros, like you, Steven clear. And they really need to be upping their game to do that. Because it’s the same old, same old within the companies, digital advertising is on the rise in Japan, slightly behind probably the rest of the world. When I hit clear speak, I’m going I’ll bring you over here to Japan to raffle things up a little bit. But since 2019, Japan has really spent up until the end a lot of money on TV advertising, believe it or not even lawyers, the trend is now moving to digital away from that lawyers actually really advertise in Japan, it’s usually people who are lawyers, were doing debt collection or challenging interest rates on loans. I would say when I went to America, one of the things I was fascinated by was the number of lawyers advertising on TV, you don’t really see that here. But you know, the pandemic has forced traditional law firms and companies to think about digital transformation. So they’re trying to catch up thing that you have to be really aware of in Japan, is that YouTube is second and place to the where people are looking for content line, the line app is where they’re going to first. And believe it or not, Japan has the highest volume of daily Instagram Stories. How many million Do you think he a day 100? No, sorry, 7 million a day. Story, Instagrams 7 million Instagram stories. So it’s evident that Japanese people are consuming a lot of video if your clients, if you are not there, if lawyers are not producing videos, if lawyers are not producing in the digital spaces where those people are, they’ll miss the boat.


Steve Fretzin  [23:14]

Now let me let me this is going to be stereotyping. And probably I’m going to get in trouble for saying this. But like when I think of Japanese, the Japanese culture and the people, I feel like they’re more rigid in in professional in the way that they would handle running a law practice and advertising. And so am I accurate in that? And is that keeping them from when



we write extended? Try not to do anything that’s too different from anybody else. Okay, keeping it nice and saying to someone like me who’s a little bit different, shall we say? Quite a lot different really surprises them?


Steve Fretzin  [23:48]

Okay. All right. So like, right in the US, we’ve got some stupid stupid TV commercials. I mean, but that’s what gets attention, right? Like the almost the dumber, the better. And lawyers have to, you know, some do it in a professionally in most, you know, they’re they’re being directed not to, and that’s what gets attention and seems to get them business because they keep doing the billboard, they keep doing the TV commercials, and it’s mostly personal injury, some family law, but it’s mainly the business to consumer. How do I get attention? That’s that’s really what they’re shooting for. But in doing so, like my take is like they have to sort of demean their standards or their reputation. I just don’t see that happening in Japan.



No, I think Japan has is very standard risk adverse. They will have a catchy jingle, or they’ll choose the phone number that’s very easy to remember. Yeah, yeah, there’ll be those kinds of little things that are all what you expect. In Japan, you expect a call phone number, you expect a jingle and a catchphrase, but beyond that, you don’t get much else. Right. And as I mentioned, there’s no personal injury here at all. You know, there’s no ambulance waiting at the bottom of the cliff lawyer. It is all about Ciao. Managing financial debt and financial pieces of, I guess the equation for domestic and exactly right, b2c,


Steve Fretzin  [25:09]

okay, okay. Hey, hey Selena, I know you’re muted right now, but I just thought I’d just chime in and introduce Selena Kim. She’s in Toronto. She’s in one of my roundtables and is just really on the, on the front lines as a lawyer. It’s kind of inch made. Can you give us a quick take on the, on the Canadian answer to this question, which is business development, marketing, how it’s changed in the last, you know, 20 years, two years? And and kind of where, what, what’s the tolerance of marketing and advertising for the Canadian with the Canadian people?



So we have an interesting blend of UK and US influence on us. And I’ve been practicing since the 2002. So 20 years now. And when I first started practicing, were more on the proper British side, I think it was actually you could face disciplinary action, if you did tacky advertising or anything like that. Yeah, and you know, and you know, in court, we, we still dress up in black gowns, just like British barristers, but we skipped the wig. So we, we are, we’re very, we’re very proper. And I met a big firm, a big multinational firm, called cowlings. And we’re in the UK as well. And we, I remember, when we started, we just had so much work coming in. And we were a prestigious firm, and people were falling over themselves trying to get us to say yes to being their lawyer. And then this changed after the 2008 crash, it’s when the clients got a lot more power. And, frankly, I mean, I’ve always been interested in business development through the whole time. And then when when I first started, like, people were like, I don’t bother now we have so much work coming in and just use the galleys name and work will come in and just be a good lawyer and be technically Excellent. Is that okay? And then after 2008, the work was gone. And then I was asking for asking people, well, how do you do business development? And we’re like, well, we don’t know, we never had to do it at all. Yeah, so that was a huge shift after 2008 In terms of, at least people recognize the need for business development, I think the law societies must have taken away the restrictions on marketing. Um, you still don’t see much of the, you know, the personal injury style, kind of in your face advertising in Canada as much, but there’s definitely billboards and bus ads going on. And I’d say in the last, last three, three or so years, people have started to recognize LinkedIn and social media as something. Something important, and it’s due to the pandemic, I guess, people at home, people just started using LinkedIn differently. Like even a year ago, I thought of LinkedIn, you only go there if you’re looking for a job. And I’ve learned so much in the last couple years, but it’s really opened up my world because everyone’s there and posting on it. And I heard this interesting stat that in House lawyers, 85% of them, their primary source of legal updates is getting, they’re getting it from LinkedIn. They’re not like subscribing to boring newsletters that law firms put up right there. They’re all on LinkedIn. So there’s been a huge shift in the last 20 years.


Steve Fretzin  [28:38]

Yeah. Thanks, Celina. That’s a great update from from from Canada. And I, again, you know, the US similar, you know, we have the ARDC, which, which we used to limit and still does limit the type of advertising in lawyers can’t say they’re experts, for example, here in the US, generally. So, um, but it’s loosened up. I mean, back when I started working with lawyers around 2008, I was like, oh, let’s get let me get CLE or, you know, learning education credits for lawyers. And, and they were rejecting me across the board when I tried to apply because business development and marketing are not, you know, in the legal space, that’s not a it’s not legal education. And then it started changing and started changing. And now I can pretty much get anything approved for CLE if I want to put the effort out. So you can definitely see some, some shifts and changes. That being said, it’s still a small percentage 10 or 20% that actually use it at use social media effectively, accurately or use it to actually grow most people are just on it. They might like something they might comment but most most lawyers are still struggling, which is why there’s been such a rise in marketing people like us and in coaches and legal because it’s come to the forefront that most lawyers don’t know what to do, how to do it and how to be efficient with their time when it comes to marketing and business divide element. So we’ve got



a slightly different pattern emerging here, Steve, I would say LinkedIn is being used and engaged with by lawyers increasingly. And there’s some excellent lawyers that have really made a reputation for themselves in their firms by and through LinkedIn. And there’s a couple that spring to mind and worth following or connecting with on LinkedIn, Sarah Walker Smith, who heads up Shakespeare Martineau, and also a group called ampere, which is bringing together a number of law firms under one umbrella. And what I think is interesting, I think this picks up on one of your points, Catherine, is they’re not afraid, this new breed of lawyer, this new breed of leader in her case, they’re not afraid to be different. And so they are challenging the norm. And they are posting stuff that, you know, few years back, we never would have seen from law firms, you know, law firms, let’s play it safe. Let’s not say anything that might be contentious, let’s not get attention for the wrong reason. They’re taking a very different approach. And they are challenging the norm. And they are saying we are different. This is what you should expect from us. And they are leading very much on an empathetic and a well being and a mental health and a watched right by society, underlying message. So it’s people first, and that’s how they run their businesses and appear and show up on LinkedIn. So So we’re starting to see a massive transformation. And Selena, you know, we’re definitely LinkedIn is a significant source, increasingly a significant source of business for people in the place where people can make their name if you like. Now, clearly, LinkedIn isn’t necessarily going to help you with your b2c markets in the same way, Instagram, Facebook, are the equivalents and perhaps don’t have the same success in the UK when it comes to legal sector. But certainly the b2b and developing those relationships and looking at those collaborations, LinkedIn really has become powerful for us. Yeah.


Steve Fretzin  [31:52]

And since we’re going down the path, Catherine, what’s what’s your take on on LinkedIn, specifically in Japan, and how, if and how lawyers are using that, or law firms using that effectively,



I think I’m one of the most prolific using my podcast content, now two podcasts lawyer on air, and another one i co host jandals in Japan, which is about successful businesses in Japan, but basically from New Zealand, but I’m using that like prolific reader. As I said, I remember the days when I first joined, and it was to try and find a job. So in terms of Japanese lawyers, or lawyers in general, in Japan who are on LinkedIn, I won’t give you another question, Steve, because you might not say the right answer, but it’s 1%. Only in Japan on LinkedIn, I My goodness. So very few of those are really active. If I want to call that a name, or clear it would be Mr. Hattori, he’s got his own law firm. He advertises himself in the bottom of his posts, he doesn’t in Japanese and English, what he does is different, as he’ll call out a case that happened in the day or something he’s seen in the news that’s to do with the law, corporate governance, or a case or something about Toshiba and the scandal that’s going on there at the moment, and he will write his opinion, on his own personal opinion. And that’s incredible, because you just don’t see that it’s normally law firms out there talking about the award, they won the client that they helped in the latest deal, but he’s taking a different track. And I met him recently at the awards. And I just think he’s astounding, because he’s really leading the way of what I’d like to see more of, and I look forward to following those two that you named clear. But you know, sadly, it’s not used enough. And when you hear that stat, that Selena just called out 85% of in House lawyers going to LinkedIn to get the updates. I’m about to start a newsletter. And I’m just having Second. Second Thoughts about that. Now that Selena has given us that one, amazing


Steve Fretzin  [33:46]

Yeah, and it’s, it’s so maybe an awkward law firms and lawyers in Japan tend to be early adopters, the same way that some people in the US in the UK did with with LinkedIn, I was in early die was teaching it 16 years ago, when I used to have 100 people in a room and I’d say, How many of you are on LinkedIn, and maybe half the hands would go up? And then I’d say how many of you are actively using it, then all the hands would go down? Right? It was just they were there because they thought they had to be now it’s almost 100% are on it in the US. And then the problem is I go to how many of you are using it or getting business from it. That’s when all the hands go down. So there’s still a gap in education about how to use it. And so I’m teaching it, you know, kind of all the time all my clients want to learn it and they want to be they want to get better at at that tool because of the point Claire made about our Selena made I should say about how many, not only lawyers are on it, but you know, business owners CFOs GCS, and so it’s an opportunity to not so it necessarily be different. But I think what what we’re talking about in the US is really about authenticity. How can we show our authentic side business professional, yes, but authentic side and that seems to be making some waves in how people become you know, some got famous or known, where before, they were just like a best kept secret.



And I think that links to a really key thing around marketing and BD in the legal sector in particular, which is, you know, it’s all about relationships. And you know, it’s the know, like trust analogy If you lie, and we’re more likely to buy or turn to people we know like and trust. And social media has given us this amazing free tool to make ourselves more accessible to help people have a better understanding of who we are, what we stand for what we look like what we sound like, you know, in the good old days, we just had the, the horrible black and white photo on the Northen website with a few bland sentences about, you know, I’m a specialist in this, and I’ve been doing it forever. So you should turn to me and no, that’s not inspiring to apply. But for a client to be able to see your personality to come across to see you’re human. And you’re not afraid to post about the fact that something happened over the weekend that upset you, you know, your dog died or something. So you’re struggling a bit today. But but your focus, actually, it is endearing. And I think one of the challenges lawyers have, certainly in the UK is coming across as a real person. And that human bit and that empathetic bit. And I think social media gives us the opportunity to do that and be our authentic selves. But it also gives us a chance to show up and demonstrate the value add that we have our expertise, our knowledge, the experience, the results we’re getting, but it mustn’t come across in the way that you describe Katherine as what has traditionally happened, which is, you know, let me share my latest award or this case or whatever. There are smarter clever ways of getting across your expertise. And you know, great, great news today got a great result for a client clients happy because we’ve done this. Bubba Verba. You know, that’s, that’s more human more down to earth more fun. So yeah,



I should say, too. Yeah, I do. I do share my award that I won last week, because it was a fantastic award. It’s unique as the only foreigner to win one at the award ceremony. It wasn’t that it’s the latest post I did is about who helped me on my journey to get there. And that’s what it’s about. And it really resonates with people when you call out the people that have helped you along your way. And not many lawyers will do that. And I just think Well, that’s human and you’re talking about relationships. That’s exactly it. And it will resonate with one person at least. And they will think differently about you and the content that you’re putting into it.





Steve Fretzin  [37:25]

Well, listen, everybody that’s a wrap. Hopefully you got a couple of wonderful takeaways from our show today with our amazing guests, Claire Pfanner and Katherine O’Connell, two good friends of mine and look you know, doing business development in different countries. stay around for part two, it’s going to be coming up in a few days. And it’s all about helping you be that lawyer someone who’s competent organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Take care, everybody be well be safe. We’ll talk again soon.


Narrator  [37:54]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes