5 ways your law firm can support you gain influence

5 ways your law firm can support you gain influence

Despite in-house teams championing change to the traditional law firm model, recent research suggests that their voice is not always heard and there continues to be a significant disconnect between what in-house teams want and what law firms deliver.

Our LexisNexis report Amplifying the Voice of the Client, produced in conjunction with Dr Kishore Sengupta at Cambridge’s Judge Business School makes it clear that in-house teams want changes across the board from law firms; including reassessing working practices, pricing, firm structures and client relationship management.

Where is the disconnect between law firm and client?

There are 3 persistent causes of disconnect that arose from the research:

  1. The Service Offering – Advice v Solutions: Clients repeatedly emphasised that they look to law firms for solutions to business problems. For the most part, the solutions need to be “good enough”, delivered timely, and in a format that enables them to make decisions quickly. The vast majority of clients interviewed however indicated that instead they receive good diagnoses but get very little by way of commercial solutions.
  2. Service Quality – “Good Enough”? Law firms typically strive to provide the best advice they can. In many cases, however clients are looking for advice that is “good enough” rather than “gold standard”. The result is that clients feel that the value received is not commensurate with the cost incurred and time taken.
  3. Service Delivery – Certainty and Predictability: Clients repeatedly mention that they have poor visibility from law firms on the work being undertaken, costs incurred, and timelines. In their view, they accept that some engagements will take more time than planned, others less, but it is for the law firm to manage their overall “wins and losses” and price accordingly.

“Clients are getting serious about the way they select law firms to work with. Firms are not realising the seriousness of panel reviews. These reviews are not something to be tolerated before reverting to old ways of working, but rather a wakeup call to the firm to either change or lose out on the work.” Stéphanie Hamon, Managing

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About the author:
Sophie Gould is the Head of Lexis®PSL In-house. Sophie worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including seven years as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group. She has also run a legal risk and compliance training business.

 

Since joining LexisNexis in 2009 Sophie has worked on developing our legal and business content for the in-house legal community.  She also runs various networking and mentoring groups for in-house lawyers and works with schools to promote social mobility within the legal profession.