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What European law departments want from their external counsel

Data from Legal Week Intelligence’s 2005 Client Satisfaction Survey of more than 220 companies in the FTS 1000 ranks 11 categories of law firm attributes. (Legal Week, Vol. 7, Sept. 22, 2005 at 4.)

“Quality of legal advice,” “Service delivery,” and “Responsiveness” share the highest scores (median 9 out of 10). “Quality of commercial advice,” “Personal relationship/accessibility,” (median of 8) followed, with “Cost” and “Billing transparency” below them (7.5). At the bottom came “Added value,” “Partner involvement,” “IT/knowledge management,” and “International capability” (median 6).

I am unsure what “commercial advice” means (as compared to “legal advice”), but it may be advice on the business side, as compared to the legal side.

What stands out to me is the low ranking of “Added value,” which I would have thought distinguishes firms that are otherwise fungible in quality and cost. Likewise, knowledge management seems maligned, when it undergirds legal advice and responsiveness, among other attributes.