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Ten clues to the onset of complacency by your primary law firms

Although frustratingly difficult to measure or proved, these tell-tale signs of settled contentment can alert you to the entitlement expectations – and diminished levels of service – of complacent law firms. I have not tried to list them in order of their frequency or their deleterious effect.

  1. The best associates don’t seem to be assigned as much (or choose to work) on your matters.

  2. Periodic meetings with the relationship partner take on a stilted and scripted feel.

  3. Suggestions or ideas for changes in how services are provided don’t materialize.

  4. Increasing amounts of time pass before the firm makes decisions regarding your administrative requests such as for budgets or new reports.

  5. Questions or surveys about your satisfaction with their services drop off.

  6. Partners refer in the press to you as “their client,” with a proprietary tone.

  7. Rarely are there either write offs by the firm or markdowns by your side.

  8. Increases in billing rates are accepted without inquiry.

  9. Your own lawyers quick to say why they can’t imagine changing the use of a certain firm.

  10. Responsiveness overall lags.