Getting paid on time is easy, if you know how

A previous post talked about how lawyers don’t market themselves very well. There is one notable exception that I know of and, not surprisingly, it is the firm with the happiest clients according to a Legal Business magazine survey. The firm in question is Liverpool-based Thomas Higgins Partnership (THP), which specialises in commercial debt collection. Marketing has a number of definitions but if you agree that, at its core, it is about finding out what customers want and then satisfying those needs profitably, then THP is clearly an exemplar.

Getting paid on time is probably the biggest bugbear for any small-to-medium-sized company. It can make the difference between financial survival and failure. It’s why in November 1998, the UK was one of the first countries in the EU to introduce legislation to give businesses a statutory right to claim interest on outstanding commercial debts (more info. here).

I’ve used THP very effectively to deal with a persistent late payer. The company in question had a very badly-run finance department with a steady turnover of employees. I got fed up with hearing implausible excuses for not paying on time (“we’ve lost/never received the invoice, we can’t find the order number, the invoice needs countersigning by two people and one of them’s on sick leave,” etc, etc.). My client contact at the company tried and failed to intervene. So each time invoices became overdue I spent a few minutes on THP’s site setting up a ‘letter before action’ and always got paid within a couple of days. And I made sure my extra costs were included in future invoices.

In summary, THP stands out for offering a great service at great prices. And it puts others in the legal sector to shame with its marketing-led business approach. Take a bow THP.

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