Aric Press of The American Lawyer recently reported on a survey released by Acritas, a U.K.–based market research firm, detailing the reasons thousands of blue-chip corporations have fired their outside law firms. Acritas cited four recurring reasons:
- too expensive (21 percent)
- bad advice or no expertise (18 percent)
- poor service (15 percent)
- lost a key lawyer (11 percent)
Acritas also provided quotes from select general counsel’s interviewed. These comments show that big or small, all legal consumers face the same issues with their lawyers:
Sometimes the problem is personal. ‘[The lawyer] did not know how to play nice with others, so we don’t use the firm anymore,’ said the $6 billion insurance company client. Sometimes it’s systemic. ‘[We stopped using them] mostly because of cost and efficiency,’ said the billion-dollar health care client. ‘They put their own interests ahead of their client’s interests.’
Mr. Press’ article and the comments and statistics he includes provide individual consumers and small companies a peek into issues big companies face with their counsel and how they deal with these issues: They fire the offending attorneys.
For attorneys and law firms, Mr. Press’ article provides a cautionary tale. Do good work, charge a reasonable fee, and think of your client, not yourself.
LPR has said before and will continue to say: Attorneys work for their clients, not the other way around. Clients pay for attorney services and should expect their attorneys to be knowledgeable, competent, charge a fair and reasonable fee for their work, and most of all, conduct themselves with their clients’ best interests in mind.
Anything less – consider the axe.
You’ve got options. The Center for Legal Practice Reform can help you navigate the attorney/client relationship and level the playing field. Call LPR today for a free consultation – (301) 351-7970.
- BofA to Outside Firms: We Sent You Business, Now Cut Our Legal Tab (blogs.wsj.com)
- Legal Sector: Insight into client churn (lawandmore.typepad.com)