It’s a typical situation whether at home or at work.  You find you need a particular skill or service, but you don’t know where to turn.  Perhaps you have never had this need before or worse yet, you may have been let down by the supplier you used last time, meaning you need to find a replacement supplier.  If you need some type of service at home then you will probably take one of two actions: ask a friend or check out some form of services directory.  The same principles apply in business.

The equivalent of ‘ask a friend’ is to enquire with colleagues in organisations similar to yours to see whether they can recommend a good supplier.  Luckily, the legal sector has an established sharing culture with fairly open communication between like-minded firms.  As such, you can learn from other firms thereby avoiding their mistakes and building on their successes.

The second method mentioned above, using some form of services directory, is more complicated and more fraught with difficulties.  The first problem is where to start.  A Google search might help but it is a scattergun approach and it might not reveal smaller suppliers who may be very good.  Another idea is to try the mainstream legal press such as Legal Week, The Lawyer or other specialist publications.  Once again, these sources may only provide limited information as they tend to include only the very largest of suppliers who have the resources to pay for “advertorials” or other forms of sponsorship.

Several online resources are available which advertise legal sector suppliers or mention them in articles or press releases.  Examples of these resources include the Legal IT Insider and the legalsupportnetwork.  You can dip into such sites when you have a particular need but keeping up to date with such sites can help you become familiar with various suppliers that operate in the legal sector.  Being a regular reader of such sites will also give you better insight into suppliers by hearing about what they are up to and what others are saying about them. Typically, these sites announce the supplier’s business wins or highlight the aims of the project or service provided but not the success, or otherwise, of the long-term outcomes.  Furthermore, they don’t always supply you with the advice and information your business requires.

However, there is a new kid on the block – Calico Legal Solutions Group.  Calico’s purpose is to be the essential resource for law firms.  One of the main benefits is to assist law firms in finding good suppliers because Calico is comprised of trusted law firm suppliers covering a wide range of services such as finance, insurance, marketing, business and IT consulting and more.  The Calico Group has a combined law firm customer base of over 4,000 firms.

Have a look at the website ( which lists the current suppliers under the Founding Suppliers and Expert Directory tabs.  Further benefits of the website include regular articles packed with knowledge-led content from the various Calico suppliers.  You can also sign up for Calico’s magazine, Compass, to ensure you receive a selection of such articles delivered periodically to your Inbox.  Best of all, Compass is pure advice – no sales writing and no adverts!

So, network and do your research and you will find that you can easily identify trusted resources to help you overcome strategic issues and to move your firm forward with confidence.