Q&A with Barbara Beckles, Small Firms Division product manager

Barbara Beckles is the product manager for the Law Society's Small Firms Division.

Barbara BecklesCan you tell us more about the Small Firms Division?

Established by the Law Society in 2013, the Small Firms Division targets the 30,000 solicitors working in 4,467 sole practices and 3,964 small firms (with two to four partners).

Offering a wide range of quality business content, including the latest regulatory information, the division promotes best practice and support on issues and challenges specific to small firms, via tailored conferences, topical regional and local networking events, webinars, podcasts and a dedicated LinkedIn channel.

What aspirations do you have for the division?

As we roll out our website transformation project, the original concept of the Small Firms Division as a vibrant, interactive, online member hub is moving closer to implementation.

Watch this space!

What are the Small Firm Division’s priorities for the next year?

We want to build on the success of the division’s annual half day conference, convened in London and Leeds.

First held in 2014, it has quickly evolved into a ‘must attend’ event for the enterprising small firms solicitor.

Our registration page is now open for the 2019 conference, so book now for the early bird rate.

At last year’s Excellence Awards, the Small Firm of the Year had the third highest applicants of all the categories. Was that a surprise?

Not at all. For many solicitors, the small firm represents a popular career and lifestyle choice.

The small firm, as a legal entity, has proved remarkably stable and resilient. They’re nimble in the face of business change, far more than larger firms, and can easily showcase their expertise.

Small firms can usually guarantee that special one-to-one client service with a personal touch - so lacking in business transactions nowadays.

Also important is the role these firms play at the forefront of ensuring access to justice for local resident and business communities, up and down the country.

How will the Small Firms Division help to publicise this year’s Excellence Awards to attract and encourage more small firms to enter?

You‘ll find the Excellence Awards promoted on the Division’s website, newsletters and LinkedIn channel.

How do you think the division helps the Law Society reach its goals?

As a free-to-member open access service, the division helps the Law Society to strengthen its engagement with members working in small firms.

These members form an important demographic within the Law Society’s membership and the division aims to sign post them to other Law Society content and products, including links the best business providers and partners in the market.

How can members join the SFD?

Good news! Currently there’s no sign-up requirement.

All division content – including, news, features and events information – is fully accessible on the Small Firms Division website.

We send a quarterly newsletter  Small Firms Focus  and other email updates direct to the part of the Law Society’s membership categorised as working in small firms and sole practices (one to four partner/director firms).

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