Business Development Skills for Lawyers

This one-day intensive workshop equips lawyers with the business skills they require to add value to the practice and develop their career.

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Leading the Way in Law Firm Management

FMRC provides training, research and management advice to law firms. For the past 30 years it has been a major centre for training Australian and New Zealand solicitors in legal practice management. Today we act for major national law firms, mid-sized, boutique and progressive small firms.

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Designed to address the issues law firms
require of their next generation leaders.

Session 1Business Management Matters

  • How the business model works
  • What differentiates successful firms
  • Your role in the success of your firm

Session 2The Financial Side

  • The importance of profit
  • Profitability with lifestyle balance
  • Managing cash flow


Session 3Costing and Pricing Your Services

  • Strategic implications of price
  • Understanding and applying cost of production
  • Pricing options

Session 4An Introduction to Business Strategy & Planning

  • Positioning your practice
  • Market & client segmentation
  • Business and pipeline plans

Session 5Marketing & Business Development For Lawyers

  • Building your profile
  • Developing a network that adds value toyour practice
  • Asking for recommendations and referrals
  • Ideas for proactive service

OutcomesDeveloping Skills For The Next Generation of Leader

  • Gain business skills required to add value to the practice and develop your career

Business Development Skills for Lawyers



  • Strategic issues facing the profession
  • The financial mechanics of a legal practice and what they can do to improve productivity and profitability
  • Understanding the cost of production of different matters
  • An introduction to the ways in which legal practices position themselves and compete in the market
  • What is needed to gain more business from their known network
  • Ideas for attracting new business


Sam Coupland


Sam’s client facing roles span directconsulting and management training. In anyone year he would be engaged by 50+ firms to assist with strategic planning, partner compensation, equity valuation and succession related issues. With industry experience gained since 1999 and the capacity to draw on the many resources of FMRC, Sam has developed unique insights into the workings of a wide range of firms. Sam is considered the foremost authority on law firm valuations having developed a robust valuation methodology and values more than 20 firms each year. Prior to joining FMRC Sam worked at Ernst & Young for four years followed by a stint in London conducting due diligence on businesses listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Sue-Ella Prodonovich

Prodonovich Advisory

Sue-Ella brings more than 20 years of senior level experience in winning and growing business. During this time her roles have included Director of Marketing with Arthur Anderson, Director of Marketing and Business Development with Baker & McKenzie, senior Consultant with Rogen SI, business owner of PTB Consulting, and Partner of Crowe Horwath. Sue-Ella has a particular interest in client feedback programs and business development coaching.

Dr Neil Oakes


Neil has served the Australasian legal profession since 1989 and has been a director of FMRC for 30 years.

During this time he has assisted many firms with myriad management challenges. Neil assists firms with strategy and profit growth, partner/director management and profit sharing, key talent management, management structures and succession management. He conducts law firm planning retreats regularly, assisting law firms to plan for and achieve greater success. Neil oversees the Practice Management Courses in NSW, presents in New Zealand Law Society Practice Management Courses, conducts FMRC workshops and is often invited to present key note addresses at management forums throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Neil has degrees in Economics and Financial Management. His Doctorate explored the “Strategic and Behavioural Consequences of Different Profit Sharing Models in Law Firms and the Impact of Sharing Methodologies on Performance, Attrition and Gender Equity”.


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