There isn’t a single industry that isn’t working towards developing better engagement and relationships with its customers or clients.

A quick look at Google Trends for ‘customer centricity’ search terms shows us that while Australia has been steadily searching for information on this topic for many years, we are still behind many other countries that have been far more focused on it.

The importance of being client-centric can’t be emphasised enough for law firms that have a NewLaw culture, as it impacts a client’s entire experience, from first contact onwards.

“I truly believe that law is the ultimate customer service industry,” said Mellissa Larkin, Founder and Managing Director, Peripheral Blue

What does ‘client-centric’ mean?

The traditional billable hours model in the legal industry means that clients tend to engage their legal advisors reactively, rather than proactively. This results in lost opportunities for lawyers- constrained by billing for time spent per hour they are not able to really ‘dive deep’ and get a holistic understanding of their clients’ needs.

Having worked for nearly 20 years in traditional BigLaw firms, Peripheral Blue’s Founder and Managing Director, Mellissa Larkin, knew that she wanted to have a different relationship with her clients, one that was genuine and meaningful – where she could become their trusted ‘thought partner’…so walked away from the BigLaw career she’d spent two decades building across two continents and started Peripheral Blue.

By doing away with the billable hours model and working collaboratively with clients, the team at Peripheral Blue can develop a relationship that improves client outcomes. PB’s engagement with a client moves from being transactional in nature, to one that is genuinely relationship-focused and more strategic, leading to a trusted partnership. And this desire to be a collaborator and ‘trusted thought partner’ is at the core of how the team all work at Peripheral Blue. They start with what the client truly needs and wants, and build everything else out from there.

“Engagement with a client moves from being transactional …to being genuinely relationship- focused and more strategic”

What is needed for a successful lawyer-client relationship?

Being flexible and open to change is part of the Peripheral Blue culture. Being accessible to clients when needed and engaging with them in the way they want are key traits.

“Being flexible and open to change is part of the Peripheral Blue culture”

Legal advice should not be a ‘one-size fits all’ service. Lawyers need to be flexible to adapt to clients’ needs, including their communication preferences. If clients prefer face-to-face, that’s what the team does. If they want to work with the team via video and other electronic means, they support that, too. Some clients want regular, daily updates and communication and others don’t want to get too involved but need the assurance that their legal risk is being managed by a trusted team.

In order to provide the most effective counsel, the PB Team know that it’s no longer enough for lawyers to solely focus on issues in a reactive way or to provide band-aid solutions for recurring problems.

Mellissa believes that by investing in genuine relationships with clients, it’s possible to learn more about them and their business: their challenges, goals and objectives. This insight enables her team to provide them with a more holistic and effective service.

“A holistic approach is essential for developing a meaningful [client]relationship.”

She finds that Peripheral Blue tends to attract those clients who are looking for someone who has their back and can pre-empt legal and regulatory issues long before they ever become a problem. It’s a far less expensive exercise to proactively deal with a problem or address an emerging risk area – and that means better value for clients.

“It’s a far less expensive exercise [for clients] to proactively deal with [a] problem.”

In the consulting space, in particular, clients often have a preconceived idea that consultants parachute in, charge exorbitant fees to give advice, then don’t hang around long enough to assist with implementation.

Peripheral Blue has taken a different approach to the provision of consulting services, ensuring that the team not only provides the advice, but drives the implementation and remains on call and accessible whenever needed. By providing a number of ‘value adds’ (including staff training) team members not only assist the clients but confirm PB’s commitment to putting long term client relationships first.

As both legal and business advisors, the team at Peripheral Blue thrive on contributing to the holistic growth and success of a client’s business.

Being client-centric is part of PB’s DNA and while it undeniably has a positive impact on clients, it also makes the work far more enjoyable for the whole team, too.

Products & Services


1300 774 788
Suite 17, 116-120 Melbourne St, Nth Adelaide, SA 5006

© 2023 Peripheral Blue | All Rights Reserved | ABN 61855198272                                     Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions

Products & Services


1300 774 788

Suite 17, 116-120 Melbourne St, Nth Adelaide, SA 5006

© 2023 Peripheral Blue | All Rights Reserved
ABN 61855198272

 Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions