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Honesty/transparency as a valued quality in law firms when insurers select firms

A poll in 2004 of insurance and reinsurance law departments around the world gave respondents 10 qualities of law firms and asked them to choose the three characteristics they value the most when selecting a law firm. Four qualities were selected the most (shown with the percentage that selected it in their top three in parenthesis): expertise/ability (88%), knowledge of the industry (55%), responsiveness (40%), and “value of money” (30%). These four present no surprises

The fifth quality on the ranking list, however is unusual: “honesty/transparency” (25%). The article that describes this survey and question, in Reactions, May 2004 at 1 , gave a brief gloss to this quality. It appears to be the willingness of a law firm to confess to its prospective client that it is not sufficiently skilled in an area of law to take on a particular matter. Don’t, in other words, except an instruction if your firm lacks “expertise/ability.”

Here are the remaining qualities: “reputation/professionalism” (15%); “promptness,” “efficiency,” and “reliability” (each at 13%); and “long-standing relationship” (8%).