So, why do clients choose law firms? According to a survey of chief legal officers by Altman Weil, we listed the most popular (descending order) influencers in the selection of outside counsel. What can we learn from this?
Personally, we were surprised that prior relationship, track record of success and subject matter expertise all ranked lowly. We were less surprised that low cost was rarely a deciding factor as research has suggested that this continues to be the case despite firms’ engaging in a fees ‘race to the bottom’. Though, with the economic downturn, and legislative changes favouring clients, perhaps there was a little bit of disingenuity from the chief legal office respondents here. It may also be interesting to many that social events and social media activity rank lower than more ‘dry’ communications about a firm/lawyer and their expertise. We were a little surprised that branding as a full service firm rated so highly but it is a trend we have been seeing. What the data does reveal that understanding your clients and their needs and building a referral network remain the most important factors.
Surely some lessons for investment for all there?