ACC’s Seventh Annual Chief Legal Officer Survey at 3 lists 13 primary reasons why respondents fired a law firm. Cost (which includes improper billing), mishandling one or more critical matters, and lack of responsiveness, each accounted for seven to eight percent. Poor quality of work came in at 6.5 percent. The other reasons each fell below two percent: “preferred counsel at the firm no longer available; “firm could not provide the needed expertise”; “firm could not provide service in necessary jurisdictions”; and “lack of diversity.” All of these reasons together came to about 40 percent of the explanations.
A whopping 63 percent of the respondents selected “not applicable” as the reason they had fired a firm, and did not give any further guidance as to their reason under “other.” It may be that law departments stop using a particular firm not because of any gaffe or malpractice, but because another firm made a more attractive offer of service. Also noteworthy is that no one gave “conflicts of interest” as a reason they jettisoned a firm.