Crafty Counsel Launch Press Release – 16 October 2017

Resource constraints mean in-house lawyers fail to access the same standard of training and development as their counterparts in private practice. A new solution launches to address the resource gap.

A new digital platform has launched at Legal Geek Conference today in London to support the training needs of in-house legal counsel. Crafty Counsel is the brainchild of Ben White, a young corporate lawyer who saw who that mid-career in-house counsel were struggling to access the training and development he had taken for granted in private practice. A report by PwC reveals that the top 100 law firms in UK spend 2.7% of their total revenue which equates to nearly £3m per firm on HR and Training. These resources simply don’t exist for many in house teams.

Benjamin White, Founder of Crafty Counsel, said: “Learning and Development was spoon fed and easy in law firm life. All that changed when I moved in house. Suddenly, professional development was my responsibility alone. Nobody’s job was to train me and there was no guarantee of a sizeable budget earmarked to pay for me to stay up to date on legal developments or soft skills. I had to fend for myself. When attending external training, I quickly realized that I was being entirely reactive to whatever the firms that my company instructed happened to be organizing. The quality was patchy, as was the relevance to my job. It doesn’t have to be this way.”

Having worked at Clifford Chance for seven years prior to moving in house to a Tech Start Up, Ben was well placed to deliver a platform that addressed the particular needs of both in house counsel and expert presenters. Crafty Counsel is designed specifically for digital native lawyers who are more likely to watch TedTalks in the gym or on their commute than want to carve out 90 minutes to join a training webcast. The new start-up has ambitions to be the In House Lawyer’s “secret weapon” for bite sized video updates, and relevant training and networking events.

The platform combines exclusive content created by Crafty Counsel’s in-house video team working with selected law firms, with high end videos created by firms themselves. Videos already launched on the site include content from Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Taylor Vinters, and more. Crafty Counsel is working with firms like these, plus barristers and other experts, to publish engaging short videos on topical trends from Bitcoin and AI to data protection and cyber security, plus practical “need to know” guides on frequently encountered issues such as employee disputes and M&A.

“For law firms, Crafty Counsel is a great way to get in front of GCs and other in house counsel in cutting edge organizations,” Ben said. “The relationship between internal and external counsel is all about trust – and how better to communicate your credibility and personality than through an expert distillation of your key areas of practice.”

Crafty Counsel understands that in-house teams have very little training budget so are adopting a model that allows lawyers free access to their content. “We’ve been highly impressed by Ben’s creativity, acuity and ‘craftiness’ in producing this innovative site. In our client relationships, we’ve long recognised the need for in-house teams to receive high quality learning and development support. Crafty Counsel goes a long way to satisfying this need and we’re delighted to contribute some of our new online content to it,” said Ian Rodwell, Head of Client Knowledge and Learning, Linklaters.

For more information please contact:

Ben White

  1. PwC survey of law firms: