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Bumbles that get law firms fired (expensive, silent and stupid)

Seven characteristics of “least successful outside counsel” showed up in Fulbright & Jaworski’s Second Annual Litigation Trends Survey (Full report at 84). From respondents at 103 companies with revenue of $1 billion or more, here were the black marks that can blackball a firm (with the percentage of law departments mentioning it in parenthesis; respondents could give more than one in their open-ended replies and in fact averaged 2.35).

“High cost” (62%); “poor communication” (44%), “incompetence, lack of knowledge” (40%), “non-responsive” (25%), “don’t know our company” (21%), “slow, late” (16%), “unreliable” (13%). It could be that not knowing the company encompasses lack of industry knowledge. (See my post of Oct. 29, 2005 on the value of industry knowledge.) Only one of the seven rests on knowing the law; the other six turn on bedside manner and a discipline of client service.