Chief Legal Officers Don't Think Law Firms Are Serious About Change

Dan DiluccioOnly 5% of chief legal officers at corporations believe that law firms are serious about changing the value proposition in their legal service delivery, as opposed to simply cutting costs, a new survey by Altman Weil reveals. 


“This year, in the midst of an unprecedented financial shift, we wanted to learn if the talk about a changing model of legal service delivery – in terms of pricing, staffing and law firm selection criteria – was being translated into action,” DiLuccio said.  But cleints don't see it happening.


Heavy pressure to change


The survey asked Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) to rate how much pressure corporations are putting on law firms to change the value proposition in legal service delivery, as opposed to simply cutting costs. CLOs responded across the board, with:

  • 25% rating the pressure as high – or between 8 and 10 on a zero to 10 scale
  • 37% rating the pressure in the mid-range at 5, 6 or 7
  • 38% rating it low, between zero and 4. 

However, when asked how serious law firms are about changing their delivery model, the answers were in sharp contrast.  Only 5% of CLOs assessed law firms as highly serious, scoring them between 8 and 10.  Twenty percent gave firms credit for some level of effort, rating them 5, 6 or 7. A full 75% rated law firms between zero and 4 on the scale, indicating little or no interest in change.

This is a dramatic vote of no confidence from Chief Legal Officers,” observed Altman Weil principal Dan DiLucchio.  “Either many law firms just don’t understand that clients today expect greater value and predictability in staffing and pricing legal work, or firms are failing to adequately communicate their understanding and willingness to make real change.  In either case, it’s a big problem.”

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