When you talk to most lawyers who turned to blogging it’s because they realized their quarterly newsletter was no longer timely enough. But Norton Rose Fulbright’s Financial services: Regulation tomorrow blog is different—their weekly newsletter was no longer enough.
“Originally we had our London office putting out a weekly financial services newsletter to clients. But in the world of regulatory matters, things started moving a lot quicker, and a weekly newsletter wasn’t as helpful as it could’ve been,” said Simon Lovegrove, head of the firm’s global financial services knowledge team and blog leader. “The blog platform seemed to fit perfectly.”
Initially the blog merely allowed the financial services team in London to post and share their information more frequently. But as the firm expanded geographically, it also allowed them to get even more coverage.
Today Financial services: Regulation tomorrow reports on developments and provides insights from across Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States. Their work spans topics, from banking and capital adequacy regulation, to clearing and settlement, to anti-money laundering, to insurance, to regulation and compliance, and beyond. And what’s more they do it all multiple times a day. Lovegrove says the UK team alone publishes about five to six times a day, and could easily publish more.
“The blog provides the freedom for weekly or daily updates,” said Lovegrove, who finds that many clients are typically more interested in daily ones. “It’s very easy. We had a lot of buy-in from everybody around the globe who saw the need for a new client friendly format…In terms of adoption from attorneys, they’re doing knowledge work; attorneys are quite happy to see [the blog] as part of their job. They’re not just updating the clients, but updating themselves and staying on top of developments. That’s incredibly important for their work…It’s very helpful to us as a practice, knowing what’s going on in different territories. We can just get a much better feel for what’s on the agenda globally.”
Lovegrove admits that his team is made up of some fairly prolific writers, many of whom come from a legal journal background. While there’s a difference in style and tone, of course, he also finds that it helps everyone stay on the same page about keeping clients in the know through Norton Rose Fulbright’s insights.
“Feedback has been very good—in particular, something both our clients and lawyers appreciate is, that as soon as something is published by a regulatory agency we’re already blogging on it. That helps us be seen as the go-to site for regulatory information.”
Thanks to their global presence, that reputation only grows. Editors are able to communicate across jurisdictions and share ideas and posts on each other’s pages, all under the same banner. Lovegrove looks forward to more pieces where three authors from separate jurisdictions are able to examine one regulatory topic from several angles.
It also plays into how they want to represent the team. Norton Rose Fulbright is a global firm that aims to provide the highest standard of legal services to its clients, and the Financial services: Regulation tomorrow blog reflects that.
“I think if you want to set up a blog you find a team of enthusiastic individuals who’ve had some experience with writing—and editorial process is key; you need to think very clearly as to how you want to set that up,” said Lovegrove. “It’s about quality, but it’s also being mindful about getting relevant material out there quickly.”
In his own experience just in the UK, Lovegrove knows that when a rule (potential or otherwise) comes down his clients need to know about it immediately. And with regulatory so often a global issue filtered through different countries, his goal with the blog is to make sure the clients are always informed.
And that’s something even a weekly newsletter can’t match.
“It’s important because clients need to know as soon as regulatory changes are happening,” said Lovegrove. “If you don’t get your bit of information out first, a competitor will. So if yours is not one of the first it means you’re third or fourth down the line of what your client might read.”