Reasons Big Corporations Fire Law Firms – Consumers and Law Firms Take Note

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.’

(Emphasis added)

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. 

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