Could your firm benefit from frequent shake-ups in client-firm relationships?

A recent report from BTI Consulting Group that found general counsel are much more willing than in years past to change outside firms may be tough news for firms of record to hear. But it should be a welcome sign for law firms poised to swoop in and demonstrate what they have to offer these clients. More shake-ups may mean new opportunities.

So how do you capitalize on this trend? The report offers two clues:

Keep an eye on personnel changes. High turnover in GC positions — “50% of all general counsel have been in their role two years or less” — is a key reason these companies change outside firms. When a GC comes into a new job, she or he may have a relationship with another firm or simply feel that client service may be better elsewhere. Staying in the know on turnovers may create an opportunity for your firm to bid for that business.

Nurture your brand reputation. According to the report, “60% of legal decision makers will outright hire a law firm based on a single, unprompted recommendation from a peer.” That is an extraordinary number. Do you know what your current clients would say about your firm to a colleague? Find out, and then convert that information into smart communications across all your channels to position yourself in the best possible light.

If your firm is in growth mode, the lack of stability in GC-outside counsel relationships may actually be your friend. But only if you are prepared to make the case for why a new client should give your firm a try.



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