Sticking with what you know is not always a good idea. If your current legal team are not delivering on value, cost and expertise then it’s time to think about reviewing your legal strategy.
Law firms have radically changed over the last few years, with many braving the economic downturn by offering a more integrated approach to legal services delivery. Several law firms disappeared or restructured as a result of the recession. Those which remained are now more resilient and focused; having taken the opportunity to evaluate their legal services offering and explore how best to deliver practical, cost effective and flexible legal solutions.
Is Your Current Legal Team Delivering?
Many law firms now offer in-house support and legal services across the full range of business objectives. Do you need legal advice on a specific project or transaction? Or are you looking to implement long term improvements or organisational change? So it is first worth considering what your business actually needs.
Building strong and sustainable partnerships is crucial. Are your legal advisors willing to go the extra mile for your business? Do they have a commercial outlook? Do they understand what you actually want now? Do they also understand your overall corporate objectives?
Investing time and effort to develop business relationships helps to achieve long-lasting benefits. Clients want fee-earners that are close at hand and can talk to you face-to-face, rather than leaving several telephone messages in vain.
Clients want value for money and proportionality is key. Using a firm which has invested in cost-saving technology can reduce your legal fees in the long run. Online systems can improve speed and convenience for clients. A consistent approach to values, methods, file management and quality standards directly benefits you and your business. By having a joined-up approach, clients can be guided with confidence.
Obviously it is impossible to safeguard against unforeseen situations, but sitting down with your legal team to explore your needs and define a clear budget for your legal costs is a great start. Choose a firm which is willing to discuss flexible fee arrangements and move away from the standard hourly rate.
Agreeing fixed costs in advance will also save you money as cost estimates calculated on an hourly rate are almost always exceeded. Negotiating pricing structures, volume discounts and lower hourly rates in exchange for an assured level of business are all areas to discuss.
Ultimately it’s all about finding the right team in a law firm. It is the overall package which matters – from getting the job done, to time, costs and budgeting. Using several fee-earners properly can help achieve the need for responsive, affordable and quality advice (and no, this does not mean dumping a caseload to a trainee after initial partner contact!).
Look at whether your current legal providers have the necessary expertise to match your business needs. How important is local/regional area knowledge, international reach and industry sector expertise to you? Legal teams that can deliver at both strategic and operational levels will add value and business benefit, ahead of competitors.
Final Words: Is It Sensible To Remain With The Same Law Firm?
Take a look at this blog post and see what makes sense for you and if it’s a good idea to remain with the same law firm. If you’d like some solid legal advice that will help your business build a strong legal foundation to grow and thrive then get in touch with our legal team.