Thank you, Lisa! And good morning! I am very happy to be here! The competition and the work we did together was one of the most enjoyable consulting experiences I’ve ever had. Your firm had a great story to tell. David Ivey and all you guys had tremendous “fire in the belly.” You all worked so hard and were so responsive as we prepared the proposal and got ready for the interview. When Baker Hostetler eventually won that competition against a field of nearly 80 other firms, we almost weren’t surprised. This is what I do for a living. Since 1991, I’ve helped law firms compete against other firms in over a thousand competitions. Many of those have been RFP competitions . Many others have been informal competitions to which a few firms were invited without the burden of responding to an RFP. Others have been pro-active competitions where we were trying to win a new client or gain a bigger share of a client’s legal representation. And even a few times they were what I call predatory competitions , where we’ve tried to persuade a business client to move its representation from a competitor firm to our own. Ultimately, I’ve helped my employers and my clients win nearly half a billion dollars in new business. I’m very happy about that. But my clients and I have been just as pleased with the fact that, no matter whether we won or lost, we always learned something about how to do it better the next time out. Here’s the message I bring you today: As you already know, you won’t win everything you compete for. It’s just not possible. But since it’s costly to compete (in terms of your own energy, time, money, and even, when you win, in terms of conflicts that the new relationship can create), you have to maximize your ROI from every competition you enter. And your potential ROI from every competition includes learning how to do it better next time.
Recent Trends in Legal Services New Business Competitions Presentation by Ann Lee Gibson, Ph.D. By Invitation of LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell At Simmons & Simmons London June 7, 2007