Ambivalency of general counsel toward cross-selling by partners

Based on my consulting impressions, general counsel are not all that enamored with cross-selling by partners of a firm they have retained. (By the way, I define cross selling as an effort to persuade a purchaser of one kind of legal services to try the firm on another kind of legal service.) That tepid reaction by general counsel expressed, I am sure there are some general counsel who appreciate being told about a wonderful, smart partner at the firm who could do a fine job on some work that now goes elsewhere. For the most part, however, the occasional times when a law department looks beyond its stable of relied-on firms, the general counsel and managers know how to find additional talent; they don’t want to be sold to before they feel a need.

This view may not be supported by others, so let me know the countervailing considerations on cross-selling (See my post of Aug. 13, 2006: to law firm partners, “client satisfaction” means cross selling; July 20, 2007: value of “multiple practice areas” in law firms may suggest cross selling; Aug. 23, 2007: success of cross-selling depends on view of firm as a whole; Aug. 5, 2007: incentive for firms not to shortchange you under fixed-fee arrangement; Dec. 3, 2005: danger sign if relationship partner tries to foist under-used lawyers; Feb. 5, 2009: drop off in work may increase urge of partners to cross sell; and Feb. 18, 2009: firms should market more [Bruce Heintz].).

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