Reinvention from the Top
June 9, 2011
In this week’s National Law Journal, Kent Gardiner, Chairman of Crowell & Moring, published an insightful article called – Firms Need to Reinvent Relationships with Clients. He sums up the challenge that law firms are facing with:
Clients increasingly view legal services as just another commodity, and are pressing their firms to provide those services cheaply and efficiently.
Having generally suffered far worse than their law firms in terms of budget cuts, layoffs and reduced earnings, clients have made clear that ever rising billing rates, inefficiencies in the delivery of legal services and other misalignment of interests between law firm and client will no longer be tolerated.
The real challenge — the mountain rising before us — is to entirely reinvent our relationship with clients.
Among the solutions he proposes are:
- Developing a deep and current understanding of a client’s business needs.
- Utilizing success-based pricing.
He concludes that:
…firms that invest heavily in reinventing their client service will forge new relationships, get the best work and be paid well for delivering extraordinary value.
As I have now been in six cities (NYC, Washington, DC, Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Houston) on the Reinvention Tour with BigHand, Inc., supported by Philips, Nuance, kCura, FTI, Kiersted Systems, WestlawNext, and Fios, I am engaging in a similar conversation with law firm leaders nationwide as we discuss the issue of Reinventing Professional Services. Gardiner artfully characterizes the challenges and his article encourages further discussion on this topic.