Competitive bid processes by law departments to choose counsel have appeared many times in posts on this blog. It is time, therefore, to collect some of my suggestions for how best to carry out such a process.
1. Give as many facts as possible in the RFP (See my post of Nov. 9, 2006.).
2. Ask only what you can use to help decide among the firms (See my post of March 13, 2007 about broad questions.).
3. Consider a second round to narrow down questions (See my post of Jan. 14, 2007 on the winner’s curse.).
4. Send the RFP to the managing partner to avoid squabbles (See my posts of Oct. 8, 2005 and Dec. 3, 2005 about relationship partners at firms.).
5. Hold a proposers’ conference call or two (See my post of March 18, 2007 on teleconferences for bidders.).
6. Prohibit generic marketing material (See my post of April 5, 2006 that lists this among the ten commandments.).
7. Invite ideas in the alternative and with scenarios (See my post of Nov. 8, 2007 about scenarios for bonuses.).
8. Keep the RFP process objective and transparent (See my post of Oct. 24, 2007 about how to treat vendors honorably.).
9. Surface assumptions and address them (See my post of Oct. 31, 2005.).
10. Watch out for superficial impressions of firms (See my post of March 13, 2007 on subjectivity.).