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By Mark Smith, Director of In-house Legal Markets at LexisNexis
A big name partner moves from a prestigious city law firm to its’ biggest competitor. The first firm frantically contacts clients, agrees messages for the market place, revisits succession plans and speaks to their associates to calm fears about the reasons for the move. The second firm re-checks the restrictive covenant position, excitedly speaks to the press and existing clients, and puts an accelerated induction process in place to get the new recruit up and running as soon as possible.
In this scenario, there are many opportunities for both firms to improve their performance, critically by putting client needs at the front and centre of their activities, yet these types of move pose a more fundamental question for law firms. That question is at the heart of how firms compete and how they think about competitive advantage.
Many law firms now talk about the difficulty of differentiation, and the challenges of standing out above the competition. They speak about promises of “added value” (a free
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