‘Cultural Advantage' at Firms Topping Recommended Lists

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By Michael Greene

June 29 — Law firms consistently recommended by corporate counsel have a “cultural advantage” when it comes to offering superior client service, a June 24 report suggests.

BTI Consulting Group, which compiled the report based on in-depth interviews with corporate counsel, found that only 25 of the 650 core law firms serving large and Fortune 1000 clients received unprompted recommendations by corporate counsel five years in a row.

These findings suggest that “delivering superior client services is a cultural issue” for many of these firms, BTI President Michael Rynowecer told Bloomberg BNA June 29. Moreover, the firms with this cultural advantage make sure that discussing client services is part of an ongoing, firmwide conversation, instead of only an occasional one, he explained.

Some of the ways in which law firms make superior client service part of their culture is by including it in partner metrics and discussing it at executive meetings, he said, adding that such firms also include it in their actual budgets and usually have individuals responsible for making sure that client services are delivered, measured and improved upon every year.

Staying Ahead of Curve

Staying on BTI's list also appears to become harder to do, given clients' changing expectations, Rynowecer told BBNA.

According to an earlier BTI Consulting Group release, only 33.3 percent of corporate counsel surveyed this year recommended their primary law firm to a peer, a significant drop compared to 40.1 percent who did so last year.

Clients are constantly changing what they want from outside counsel and always want more, Rynowecer said.

The firms that consistently receive recommendations by corporate counsel “have a history of looking beyond today's issues” and are able to anticipate their clients' needs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Greene in Washington at mgreene@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at rtuck@bna.com

The report is available at http://www.btibuzz.com/buzz/2015/6/24/the-most-recommended-law- firms.html.