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“They Haven’t Blown Me Away” (Bruce Heintz)

… “so, there’s got to be better firms than them out there,” assessed the GC, based on the recent performance of one of the company’s primary law firms.

The last six years have been a sellers’ market, evidenced by law firms’ steady and dramatic raising of their billing rates. During this period, firms have been so busy (and often so focused on their own advancement, e.g., opening an office in China), that many service errors must have occurred on existing clients’ work. And in some cases, these firms have luxuriated in such overflowing economics that they’ve even taken some important clients (your company?) for granted.

If you’re not getting A+ work from your A-list law firm providers, then you should initiate some changes. A few ideas: (a) Gather and summarize your evaluation of each primary provider, including specifics about what they’ve done well and where they’ve slipped, invite in their lead partners for a little get-together and have them later reply formally as to how they are going to rectify the situation in the future; (b) If their response to your issues are not met with changed performance in a reasonable amount of time, start marginalizing their role by spinning off work to other law firms (and telling them when you do it); (c) If this still doesn’t do the trick, issue an RFP and swap out any B+ firms for the A-players you deserve.

By guest author Bruce Heintz