Companies Dissatisfied with Outside Counsel by LawCrossing


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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									GCC NEWS FEATURE                                                                                 1. 800.973.1177

Companies 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 would
recommend 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 a
annual survey, “How Clients Hire, Fire, and       six years, BTI found that clients paid more        client-satisfaction program that is designed
Spend: 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 explained.
team of researchers, which interviewed            43% of its total budget to outside counsel
more than 200 corporate counsel and top           and nearly 40% of its total budget to outside      Other firms, including Cleveland-based
executives from Fortune 000 companies            counsel.                                           Thompson Hine, have developed client-
over the past year to find out how they rated                                                        survey programs to identify what clients
their 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 the
The top five law firms, according to the          either replaced or demoted a primary firm in       law firm to identify such preferences as
survey, include Sidley Austin, Jones Day,         the last 8 months.                                preferred billing dates and preferred modes
Holland & Knight, Reed Smith, and Baker &                                                            of communication, Avidas Jasin, Director of
McKenzie. 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 law
legal expertise client-specific, to understand    firms fail to keep up with clients’ changing       According to the survey results, many more
the client’s business, to go beyond what’s        needs, fail to articulate the value they           law firms will be hired in 2006. About half of
anticipated, and to achieve the client’s          deliver, and fail to communicate efficiently       the respondents reported that they planned
goals,” 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 difficult
surveyed were satisfied with their primary        to provide legal services to corporate clients,    ON THE NET
law firms, compared with 43.5% in 2005. The       as law firms and companies continue to grow
decline this year has been the most dramatic      in size. “When the client was smaller, it was      BTI Consulting Group
since 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, LLP
counsel are seeking services from fewer           Herrington & Sutcliffe, told the ABA Journal.
law firms. The average company surveyed
used 52 firms last year-two primary firms,      “Clients won’t always tell you that they have      Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
secondary 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 should
there is less distinction between top firms       encourage their clients to speak up if they


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