In this video clip 'Top Reasons GCs Fire Law Firms' Spencer Mazyck, of Bloomberg Law interviews Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of legal market research firm Acritas, and reveals some law firms should be afraid....very afraid. 2500 General Counsel over 4 continents were recently interviewed. 30% of the GC's interviewed apparently changed their law firms within the last 12 months!
The most common reason GC's ditch their law firms according to Acritas survey is price. Not necessarily just the overall fees (although they did feel the firms they moved away from were too expensive for the price paid and the value provided), but some of the billing practices of firms and one presumes this would involve things like exceeding estimates, bill shock, etc. The GC's felt many firms could be more efficient internally and lower their own costs of production-rather than trying to pass those internal costs onto them.
The next most common reason GC's moved firms is mentioned as expertise, mainly some breakdown somewhere in the quality of legal advice or because a lawyer moves firms. Not unsurprisingly, even when a key partner or lawyer leaves a firm, GC's say they would prefer not to move firms, but often the incumbent firm does not handle the changeover well, leaving the GC with little choice but to move too.
Next on the hit list is relationship or moreover relationship breakdown, sometimes aligned to the last reason, but often because clients feel their firms exhibit a "don't care" attitude-at least that is how clients are made to feel.
And the next most common reason GC's shift is around service. Firms being too slow to respond, not meeting deadlines, over promising and under delivering. In this day and age in a competitive & cut throat marketplace, its hard to believe firms really fall down on service? Shouldn't that be the easiest to fix?
Lisa goes onto say that if more firms listened to their clients and engaged in regular dialogue and feedback most of these issues could be avoided, but regrettably she says some firms still live in a world of complacency and arrogance.
Complacency & arrogance? Good luck to those firms that is all I can say-they will need all the luck they can get.