Paul Martenstyn is awarded ‘Marketer of the Month’

04 Oct 2007

Paul Martenstyn has been awarded ‘Marketer of the Month’ prize by Marketer Magazine following his completion of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Certificate . He explains how his marketing skills stand him in good stead in his demanding role as a clerk.

Historically, marketing and Law have not gone hand-in-hand but this is changing. We are essentially a service industry and we have targets to meet like any other business. This was the main reason I decided to embark on my professional qualification with The Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The course was very hard and extremely demanding but a journey I thoroughly enjoyed. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in gaining a competitive edge in their respective marketplace. It has certainly given me a different view and a thorough understanding of the theory of marketing.

It is not only the barristers (and clerks) that make a difference in the service we provide – everyone at Hardwicke Building can affect the delivery of that service. From the moment the client walks through the door to the moment they leave, we must get things ‘right’. Everyone from the post-room staff to the CEO must understand its importance. We must stay one step ahead of our competitors in this ever changing industry.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing has opened my eyes to the marketing profession. For example, I have already made a fantastic amount of good contacts through the institute, and the knowledge hub is invaluable. The poet HH Williams said ‘furious activity is no substitute for understanding’, and I would have to agree. Being a professionally qualified member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing has given me this understanding. Thank you to everyone at the institute for their fantastic support and I look forward to my future as a member.

The world of Chambers

Barristers’ clerks are one of the more unusual occupational groups in the UK today. The Bar is essentially a referral profession, and the barristers’ clerk essentially acts as the agent. Clerks manage diaries, set fees and advise generally on their practice.

We ensure the barrister is in the right place at the right time, we negotiate their fees for advocacy and advisory work, and we have the responsibility of collecting these fees. On occasion we have to undertake a ‘counselling role’ which means guiding younger members of the bar – junior barristers are dependent on clerks for they are the conduit to the world of work and therefore can shape their careers.

We have a unique situation to manage – all of our barristers are self-employed individuals and therefore some of their competition is with other members of chambers in the same area of law. This quandary is something we simply have to manage especially when marketing chambers from a global perspective, ownership of clients is one interesting topic which crops up from time to time especially when marketing events are organised and decisions are made on who gets to attend.

 In conclusion, our role is quite demanding and requires us to be flexible, but this is one of the reasons I fell in love with the job in 1996. The responsibility of cultivating work is my forte as I see it, and the marketing side of the job has evolved this century and is now taken very seriously in chambers.

Competition at the Bar is tough, and this means clerks must be on top of their game when it comes to staying ahead of the competition. Chambers are now recruiting marketing professionals from outside the legal profession to assist with reaching targets and capturing new clients. Barristers’ chambers with a marketing executive before the Millennium were few and far between, but this is changing. The legal profession has some catching up to do but we are slowly getting there.

Hardwicke Building is a forward looking barristers’ chambers that aims to provide pragmatic and creative solutions to the legal problems of its clients. We are dedicated to helping our clients to meet their objectives, whether in litigation, dispute resolution or advisory work. Our clients include professional firms, businesses, charities, government bodies, and individuals.