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Will Long, Client Partnership Director at Alacrity, recently joined our regular senior counsel interactive discussions hosted in partnership with Radius Law and F-Lex. He shared his market insights and experience on the topic of “Partner law firm management – how do external counsel need to adapt? How do legal teams need to change?”.
Below, Will shares a synopsis of the insights, particularly addressing the law firm / client relationship.
Law firm – client relationships: dysfunctional or mutually beneficial?
One of the privileges of my job is that I get to spend a great deal of time listening to leaders of in-house legal functions, and their law firms, about how to make positive changes to their relationships.
That’s not to say these relationships are necessarily dysfunctional. But there are aspects that persist in frustrating both sides. These can run counter to long-term, mutually profitable partnerships.
When things get tricky, the fundamentals of relationships tend to become exposed. Today many businesses are under even greater pressure to demonstrate value and cut costs; and many law firms are working hard to maintain profitability and competitive advantage. Any relationship that is even slightly misaligned might creak under that sort of strain.
At the moment, the industry seems to be focused on three main themes around how to resolve this tension.
The first, unsurprisingly, is cost control and how this relates to value - a key challenge for many businesses at the moment.
The second is around transparency, and what that means in the context of law firm relationships.
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