Price tops list of reasons why GCs give law firms the boot

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8 October 2012


Fired: firms need to keep tabs on what clients are thinking

The biggest single reason general counsel are dropping law firms is price, according to a survey of top in-house lawyers at major global corporations.

The study, by UK-based market research company Acritas, revealed a range of reasons given by 132 general counsel in companies with revenues of more than US$1bn for giving firms their marching orders.

Top (22%) was that they were too expensive, followed by lack of demand (16%), quality of expertise/results (14%), poor service/slow response (14%), and a key contact leaving the firm (11%).

In a question to which 404 general counsel responded, one in three said they had dropped a law firm in the past year.

The data comes from the interim results of Acritas’s Sharplegal 2012 Global Elite research, which seeks to determine trends from the views of over 1,400 international ‘elite’ buyers of legal services, part of a wider survey of more than 2,500 general counsel in businesses operating in 40 countries.

Acritas CEO Lisa Hart Shepherd said: “It is frustrating to read some of the reasons clients give for moving their business elsewhere. In so many cases, it’s clear that firms could have easily prevented the losses if they had had better ‘early warning’ systems in place – through a structured client feedback programme, for example.”

She added: “[Our] research shows that the key to client retention lies in the strength of the relationship – aided by open, clear and ongoing client communication. Checking on a regular basis that clients feel they are getting good service and value is a proven way of not only keeping but growing their business.

“Clients want to be asked. In most cases, they are passionate about their business and value law firms which share and demonstrate that passion for their business too.”

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Legal Futures Blog

Inbound marketing for law firms – For those about to flock

Chris Davidson Moore LT

Written in honour of Malcolm Young, recently deceased founding member of AC/DC, there are nine references to AC/DC songs throughout this article. We will send a £20 iTunes voucher to the first person who gets in touch to tell us what they are. The forces that are driving change in the legal profession are wide and varied. The ability of law firms and individual solicitors to respond positively and innovatively to these challenges will determine who survives and prospers. Competition for new business is fierce, a dog eat dog world, one might say. Which brings us to AC/CD. Not my favourite rock band, but an acronym for Attract, Convert, Close and Delight – the four pillars of inbound marketing.

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