Commercial Intelligence

“The natural evolution of commercial awareness.”  

Re-thinking the way lawyers understand business to give greater satisfaction to both lawyer and client.

A unique programme of practical commerciality coaching and analysis for professional advisors that is designed to deliver deeper and more meaningful client and stakeholder relationships.

Thomas offers a very fresh perspective for lawyers – he combines his experience of the legal sector with an entrepreneurial skill-set which is quite rare.  Not only does Thomas understand and respond to the challenges that lawyers have in ‘understanding their clients business’, he also demonstrates considerable insight into how best to develop people, particularly lawyers, in these skills.”

Head of Learning & Development, Top 20 transatlantic law firm  

Clients always want their advisors to be commercial in their approach. They don’t want them to make the business decisions, but to understand the drivers and implications of those decisions at a practical level – and to tailor their approach and advice accordingly.

We don’t talk about ‘commercial awareness’ because we don’t think it’s good enough. We advocate ‘commercial intelligence’ – because every advisor needs to be able to understand and empathise with the practical day to day pressures facing their clients. 

Our unique programme of coaching is delivered by Thomas Bourne who spent seven years as a commercial employment lawyer at a national firm before joining the world of business as Managing Director of an SME. He now offers business & commercial consultancy to purposeful businesses of all sizes.

In September 2019, Thomas delivered a keynote speech on Commercial Intelligence to an international audience of young lawyers at the AIJA Annual Congress in Rome.

If you want your teams to offer an edge, get in touch:

If you’d like to know more, read on.

“I thought I was pretty good at ‘commercial awareness’, says Thomas Bourne who spent 7 years as an employment lawyer in a national firm. “But it wasn’t until I moved into business that I realised how little I really knew. I found that the only way to become truly ‘commercially intelligent’ was by making the decisions myself. A secondment to a major corporate while in practice gave me excellent insight into the client and sector, but didn’t deliver the same level of immersion. Neither are secondments available to everyone.”

“Of course, your lawyers are already extremely commercial, and your existing training programmes will equip them well with the core skills they need. However, there are a number of practical things which, had I known when I was in practice, would have led me to give my advice in a different way. For example:

  • What does this business stand for? Lawyers need to ensure that their advice doesn’t conflict with the company’s fundamental purpose, values and objectives;
  • What impact could this decision have on the profitability/cashflow of the business?
  • What are the dynamics and personality styles of the decision makers – and what areas of potential conflict do lawyers need to be aware of?
  • What operational/external pressures are behind this decision – what impact/s could the outcome have?”

In addition to the training they already receive, we believe that it’s possible for  lawyers and other professional advisors to be equipped with a simple and practical framework for understanding the client’s perspective in a way that sets them apart from the competition.

How it works

We offer a series of structured and practical ‘commercial intelligence’ coaching  sessions to enable your teams to understand the day-to-day pressures and drivers behind key business decisions and therefore deliver their advice in a uniquely targeted and empathetic way.

By truly embedding practical commercial understanding, we believe significant further value can be added to the advice delivered, thus ensuring longer and deeper client and stakeholder relationships.

Client Intelligence Analysis & Briefings

To get the most out of this approach, we can then help you understand your key clients/targets at a deeper level, using the same model deployed in the coaching and therefore already embedded in, and understood by, your teams

We undertake analysis through a mixture of desk-based research and face-to-face interviews/workshops with the clients – even this process will develop deeper relationships and demonstrate commitment to getting ‘under the skin’ of the client.

We then brief the client intelligence out to client service teams with desktop aide memoirs, using the same methodology as before, to cascade knowledge about a client and embed it in a way that is already familiar and will therefore stick.

Drop us a line – we’d be delighted to chat.