Even in a legal market that’s increasingly notorious for flat average demand, there remain plenty of opportunities for growth, as well as many potential threats to a law firm’s current book of business.
More than half (58%) of corporate legal departments recently surveyed say they shift their legal work among law firms at least once every two years, according to the findings in Corporate Value Attitudes Survey, a newly released study from the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. And nearly one in five (18%) change how their work is parceled out among their outside counsel more than once a year.
So why all the shifting among outside counsel panels? Value is the most frequently cited reason for either changing law firms or how work is allocated among firms, according to the survey. Work quality, attorney responsiveness and cost predictability were the other reasons that were most often given.
This creates a great deal of opportunity for law firms that are looking to increase their market share. However, it also highlights that a good deal of a firm’s business may also be in jeopardy of walking away. To add to that threat, firms may not necessarily know that they are not meeting clients’ standards and are in danger of losing the work. In the survey, 56% of legal departments said they either will not tell a law firm why they’ve lost work or will provide a rationale only when asked.
Clients are setting high standards for what they expect in terms of value and quality of work for legal services. So, what is a law firm to do?
Download a copy of the full report below and see what else corporate counsel told us, as well as some suggestions for how law firms can respond.