We have worked with more than a dozen law firms in our 15 year history. Plantiff, business, real estate, and defense, and there’s one thing in common. Managing new biz time with existing clients. The broad trends are being driven by client behavior instead of economic trends. Success demands more individual understanding of client thinking and less focus on systems. The law firms with a client-centric approach will have a clear advantage. BTI conducted 300 in-depth interviews with corporate counsel and 150 in-depth interviews with law firm marketing leaders. There is one goal: spot the opportunities and trends which will have the most impact on law firms in the new year. The top 14 from BTI for 2017 are:
- Clients with bet-the-company work have quadrupled over the last 3 years.
- Top legal decision makers report a bevy of new complex matters coming in the door but almost no new budget to accommodate these bigger, more complex cases.
- Corporate counsel spending at large companies hit a record in 2016 but was driven by in-house spending.
- The largest law firms will continue to spend 1/3 more on client development than other firms and use this tactic as a tool to gain share.
- Employment Litigation, IP Litigation, and Class Actions will get more of the legal budget in 2017 than in prior years.
- Banking, Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals have the biggest need for complex work.
- Rates are becoming polarized—clients are paying higher rates for more complex work and putting more price pressure on routine work to help fund the new complex needs.
- The overall flat to sluggish market is masking enormous opportunity in the rise in demand for complex and bet-the-company work.
- Pharmaceuticals shows strong demand in 8 areas of legal practice.
- Corporate counsel are hiring new law firms at a pace not seen in 10 years.
- More law firms will conduct large-scale client feedback initiatives.
- New generation General Counsel will continue to take over for retiring baby boomers and will be more demanding of law firms and less forgiving.
- Banking has strong demand for 7 areas of legal practice.
- Law firm marketing leaders will face unprecedented workloads as RFPs increase, new generation GCs continue to take over, and pressure to drive revenue increases.
Think about how you are managing relationships with GCs and the constant demand for revenue driving activities. Check out our portfolio for content marketing and other thought leadership.
BTI’s Market Outlook and Client Service Review 2017
BTI discusses the best new opportunities for 2017, how new client service leaders make it to the top, and how to get ahead of the market in both share and profitability.