About the Book

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About the author

Barbara Koenen-Geerdink is Global Head of Business Development and Marketing at Ince, which is part of AIM-listed company The Ince Group plc, a legal and professional services provider with more than 900 employees globally. She is based in Dubai where she lives with her husband and 15-months old baby boy, and has 10 years of business development and marketing experience in the professional services industry. Barbara previously worked for magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Dubai, and for Deterink Attorneys and Notaries (now Taylor Wessing) in the Netherlands. Prior to moving to Dubai she worked in Doha, Qatar; and before starting her career, she interned in New York. She was awarded an MSc in business in Barcelona.

Key topics

Beyond Billable Hours gives you easy-to-implement tools to ace your day-to-day business and your career. Start now and achieve quick wins with this highly practical book.

Create your personal business plan

Map out your career path through the creation of a personal business plan. Create a plan in no-time.

Understand the sales process

Understand the sales process and learn how to identify the right prospects to grow your practice.

Create and build your personal brand

Not only the reputation of your firm’s brand is important but you are your own brand.

Marketing skills and techniques

Use proven marketing skills and techniques to secure clients. The book provides you with plenty of tips and examples.

Recognise emotional intelligence

Recognising the importance of emotional intelligence in business situations is crucial if you want a successful career.

Learn how to set goals

Setting goals is important in any successful business plan. The book covers how to set SMART goals.

Book impression

You only get one shot to make a first impression...


It was pure coincidence that I started my career in the legal industry. I am not a lawyer, didn’t study law and had no desire to work for a law firm. But somehow I got involved and, more importantly, became hooked.

I am obsessed with the profession but, funnily enough, have no desire to become a lawyer. Let me explain: I have worked with lawyers for nearly 10 years, and every day I get better at understanding how their minds operate, what they do and what they prefer not to work on. The latter is the subject matter of this book, and I proudly admit that I am fascinated by it. There are always exceptions to the rule, but, generally speaking, lawyers don’t prefer the commercial side of the job. The fact that they tend to neglect this important element of doing business makes complete sense to me but not to most of the partners within professional services. Their expectations are that associates have to get the business in, even though at some point they were in exactly the same position: an associate.

I have worked with a wide variety of lawyers in local and mid-sized to magic circle firms. Among them, I see big common thread: dreading business development and marketing (BD&M). Frankly, I don’t blame them. Law school didn’t teach them how to write a business plan, network or sell the business. Historically, there was no need for lawyers to possess these commercial skills. But nowadays, as clients become stingier (or as they like to say, ‘cost-conscious’!), they will go for the firm offering the best value for money. The one lawyer that can present their services in the best, most efficient and appealing way is the winner. Is that you?

The goal of this book is neither to convert lawyers into sales gurus nor to be a marketing ‘dos and don’ts’ bible. Its aim is to guide and help you to think about the things that matter from a commercial viewpoint if you want to make it to partnership. It should help you to stand out from the crowd, because that is what counts (not only to clients but also to your stakeholders).

I have worked with many just like you, from career starters to the more senior heading for partnership within a couple of years. It doesn’t matter whether partnership still seems far away or is right around the corner; you may find this book useful to understand that there are others in the same position, fighting the same battles and conquering the same struggles. I hope to help you to overcome some of these, so we will look at what can help you the most to do that.

I’m not only obsessed with the legal profession but also crazy about marketing and everything that relates to BD&M for law firms. And not just the law but any professional services firm where the same principles apply.

I hope you will enjoy reading this book, and wish you good luck on your journey. Never lose faith and remember: Even if you do just a little of what is outlined here, I promise it will make a huge difference.

From the blog

We know that it is not easy to bring in new business in a highly competitive landscape, but we do believe that every action counts and will make a difference in the long term. We hope to inspire and motivate you with these short articles which are all related to business development and marketing for professional services firms. Enjoy the read and if you have any questions please contact us.

Get a copy!

Beyond Billable Hours is available on Amazon.com in paperback and e-book format.
If you are in the UAE you can also drop a note to info@beyondbillbalehours.com and we can send a copy via courier.

$ 16.95

Start now and achieve quick wins with this highly practical book.

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Please share any feedback you may have, whether this is regarding the book or the blog posts or any comments in general, I would love to hear from you!