The Big Interview: Pat Coyle
Pat Coyle joined Rollits in 1993, which means she has seen the law firm go through multiple changes and continually transform to keep up with modern ways of working and client preferences. We asked Pat a little about her role and how she helps Rollits to remain firmly rooted at the heart of the local community.
"Legal marketing has only been permitted in England and Wales since 1986, when the Law Society first allowed solicitors to advertise." says Pat. "Things have moved on massively since then, so we constantly need to adapt to changing trends and emerging technology. For example, clients now buy legal services in so many different ways and competition is stronger than ever.
Needless to say, technology has come on in leaps and bounds since 1993. Pat puts this into perspective by describing how things were in the Rollits offices back then:
"When I first started we didn't have a website. In fact, barely anyone did. I didn't have a computer on my desk, as everything was done manually, letters and documents were sent by post or fax and artwork wasn't produced on a Mac. The onset of the internet age at the start of the millennium was when we created our first website. We always said we wouldn't have one just for the sake of having one, there had to be a reason, which ended up being to help with recruitment. A website allowed us to attract graduates as trainees or newly qualified lawyers as young people had started using the internet to search for new roles. That was the original drive for our first website and rollits.com hasn't stopped evolving ever since."
Pat also tells us how the Rollits brand has changed with the times:
"We've always had a strong name in the city but that too has adapted over time. When I joined the firm was called Rollit Farrell & Bladon (also known as RF&B), which changed to Rollits in 2001 because that's what we were known as. As a result, a new logo was designed and our branding was refreshed. Our last rebrand was in 2016 when we moved into Citadel House, which gave us a brilliant opportunity to strengthen the firm's identity even further."
As the Director of Marketing and Client Relations, Pat's job is wide-ranging and very busy. However, she says that if she were to sum up her role in a single sentence, it would be that "it's about always looking forward".
"We were very lucky to be able to contribute to Hull City of Culture in 2017 to such a large extent," explains Pat. "Rollits had just moved into Citadel House, which is just a few doors down from where the City of Culture team had its own offices. This proximity gave us a chance to raise our head above the parapet and support a wide range of activity, from giving the CoC team a place to host meetings, to sponsoring a range of cultural events. This allowed us to feel part of a major celebration of our wonderful city.
"Supporting the regional arts and cultural scenes has always been very important to Rollits," adds Pat. "I remember when I first joined, we were already sponsoring concerts at the University of Hull, as well as supporting exhibitions at Ferens Art Gallery and Beverley Art Gallery. We continue to help cultural activity to thrive, from Hull Truck Theatre, Absolutely Cultured and Freedom Festival to the Ryedale Festival in York, with multiple Rollits staff also being trustees of various arts organisations."
The idea of adding value is very much at the heart of Rollits. This takes many forms, not least in how the law firm supports its clients:
"We provide clarity, focus and jargon-free advice," says Pat. "Our mission is to offer genuine help that enables clients to achieve solutions to a variety of problems. It's a very personal service which includes communicating in whichever way the client prefers. In the old days it was face to face meeting, phone calls and emails, which are still relevant, although we now also stay in touch with clients through Zoom, Teams and WhatsApp - we're attuned to what the client wants and the approach that works best for them on an individual or corporate level.
"Everything we do is determined by the people we work for and we go above and beyond to provide a highly responsive and personalised service which forms the core of our marketing and business development strategy."
No matter how much the legal sector, technology, online trends and buyer behaviours change, Pat sums up her philosophy very succinctly:
"The constant is that people buy people. A firm's people are key to everything it does. If you have good people in place, you can't go wrong."
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