If you’re reading this and are the head of a law firm, what would your reaction be to having your firm’s data being shared with general counsel at multiple companies? When heads of firms were asked this very question, the ABA reported that firms’ reaction is a “mix of excitement and angst.”
In order to learn the impact firm size and practices, like value billing, have on satisfaction and results, GCs at more than 25 companies intend to share key data on law firms. More specifically, per ABA and Am Daily Law’s reporting on the GCs’ letter on the “GC Thought Leaders Experiment” published in Corporate Counsel, the data will include law firm names, billing rates and arrangements, matter types and reviews of the work by in-house counsel.
More broadly the experiment is intended to help bring more innovation to the legal industry by increasing transparency.
We have known for a while that firms who promote transparency by delivering insights to clients and collaborating regularly throughout the litigation process — for example, via shared software systems to see case status, etc. —enjoy stronger relationships and be better partners to their clients. This exercise by the GCs may end up forcing the hand of some firms who are slow to adapt.
AM Law Daily quoted David Rueff of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz on the experiment:
“I think it’s a wake-up call for all of us. It’s the next phase in a dramatically changing market.”
GCs aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the data share; firms, too, can leverage the information to their advantage and long-term success. In fact, there are a number of ways that firms and GCs can work together and mutually thrive. Download LLM, Inc.’s white paper “The Agent of Change.” And for a quick summary of value-based arrangements, check out LLM, Inc.’s mini book “Taking an Alternative Approach: AFAs.”