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Companies Dissatisfied with Outside Counsel


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Article About Companies Dissatisfaction With Outside Counsel As Per The Client-Service Survey With Information About Primary Law Firms, Outside Legal Counsels, Client-Survey Programs And More.

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Companies Dissatisfied with Outside Counsel

  1. 1. GCC NEWS FEATURE 1. 800.973.1177Companies Dissatisfied with Outside Counsel[By Jen Woods]Corporate America is not happy with its outside counsel, according to a recent client-service survey. Only 32% of surveyed executives said they wouldrecommend firms that worked for them, and 70% said they were dissatisfied with their primary law firms.BTI Consulting Group has conducted its sixth and secondary firms. For the first time in are unhappy, Sessions said. Her firm has aannual survey, “How Clients Hire, Fire, and six years, BTI found that clients paid more client-satisfaction program that is designedSpend: Landing the World’s Best Client.” money to secondary firms than they did to to get feedback, both positive and negative,BTI President Michael Rynowecer led the their primary firms. The average client paid from clients, she of researchers, which interviewed 43% of its total budget to outside counselmore than 200 corporate counsel and top and nearly 40% of its total budget to outside Other firms, including Cleveland-basedexecutives from Fortune 1000 companies counsel. Thompson Hine, have developed client-over the past year to find out how they rated survey programs to identify what clientstheir outside legal counsel. According to the survey results, more than want from firms. Thompson Hine’s survey half of the respondents-about 54%-had questions are very specific, allowing theThe top five law firms, according to the either replaced or demoted a primary firm in law firm to identify such preferences assurvey, include Sidley Austin, Jones Day, the last 18 months. preferred billing dates and preferred modesHolland & Knight, Reed Smith, and Baker & of communication, Avidas Jasin, Director ofMcKenzie. These firms received high ratings Three factors, in particular, are leading Business Development at Thompson Hine,for several reasons. “The major components to companies’ dissatisfaction with outside told the Daily Record.of client satisfaction are the ability to make counsel. Companies are unhappy when lawlegal expertise client-specific, to understand firms fail to keep up with clients’ changing According to the survey results, many morethe client’s business, to go beyond what’s needs, fail to articulate the value they law firms will be hired in 2006. About half ofanticipated, and to achieve the client’s deliver, and fail to communicate efficiently the respondents reported that they plannedgoals,” Rynowecer told the ABA Journal. with clients, according to the survey. to seek services from at least one new firm in the near future.Only about 30.7% of corporate counsel However, it is becoming increasingly difficultsurveyed were satisfied with their primary to provide legal services to corporate clients, ON THE NETlaw firms, compared with 43.5% in 2005. The as law firms and companies continue to growdecline this year has been the most dramatic in size. “When the client was smaller, it was BTI Consulting Groupsince BTI began conducting its annual survey. easier to achieve a sense of connectedness and a relationship of trust,” Ralph Baxter,Also, an increasing number of corporate Chairman of San Francisco-based Orrick, Thompson Hine, LLPcounsel are seeking services from fewer Herrington & Sutcliffe, told the ABA Journal. firms. The average company surveyedused 52 firms last year-two primary firms, 11 “Clients won’t always tell you that they have Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffesecondary firms, and 39 case-specific firms. a problem,” Barbara Sessions, Marketing Partner at Chicago-based Winston & Strawn,In addition, the survey results indicate that told the ABA Journal. Law firms shouldthere is less distinction between top firms encourage their clients to speak up if theyPAGE