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In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Monthly Archives: October 2008

Sometimes Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Posted in Commentary

My partner, Nicole Auerbach, the soul of Valorem, ensures that we live by the rule that while we take our clients and their problems very seriously, we can’t take ourselves seriously at all.  This is the sign that welcomes us to our Conference Room.  Even after several months, I smile every time I walk in… Continue Reading

Law Department Budgets Head South

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

The November 2008 issue of Inside Counsel reports that 62% or the responding law department leaders expect their law department budgets to be reduced as a result of the economic crisis. The pie is shrinking.  Your piece can shrink with it, or you can figure out how to get a bigger piece.   What are… Continue Reading

Chance Favors The Prepared

Posted in Commentary

Last March, I wrote that unlike with every recession since World War II, we would not be able to rely on the consumer to drive the economy of this recession.  Since that post, we’ve seen home prices continue to tumble and the precipitous decline of net mortgage equity withdrawals (essentially, the amount of home equity… Continue Reading

More Insights On Impact Of Bad Economy On Law Firms

Posted in Commentary

Check out Larry Bodine’s discussion of the ACC/Serengeti study that predicts a downturn in spending on outside law firms in 2009.  Also take a look at Hildebrandt’s Fall 2008 Special Client Advisory.  Those looking for good news or positive signs will be disheartened.  From Hildebrandt: Unfortunately, it seems certain that a quick turnaround for the… Continue Reading

The Economy: What Does It Mean For InHouse Lawyers?

Posted in Commentary

    I just wrote about how much worse the economy may get, and what it means for law firms.  I would be remiss if I didn’t offer some thoughts on what the declining economy means for clients.    Let me begin my observations by recalling Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over,… Continue Reading

How Much Worse Can The Economy Get?

Posted in Commentary

I ran across an article in the business section of this morning’s  Chicago Sun-Times that made my blood run cold.  Columnist Terry Savage was recounting how Bert Dohmen, publisher of The Wellington Letter, predicted the current credit crisis in March 2008, saying that "[t]he enormity of this problem is beyond anything we have ever seen… Continue Reading

More On Law Firms Raising Their Rates In Bad Economy

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 As I flew from Chicago to Boston this morning, I had an opportunity to read the October issue of The American Lawyer, which fortuitously arrived yesterday.  I smiled as I read a piece labled “The Going Rate: With the economy down, will fees go up?”  Readers… Continue Reading

Innovative Billing Arrangements Across The Pond

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Friday’s Financial Times on-line version contains an interesting article on "innovative" billing arrangements, meaning, of course, arrangements not tied to hours.  The thesis of the article is that  "many law firms have also become disenchanted with hourly billing, which they feel fails to adequately reward them for the value they can create for clients."  The… Continue Reading

ACC Launches Blog Addressing Fees and More

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

Heads-up.  I justed added a link to the Association of Corporate Counsel’s new blog, InHouse ACCess (love the play on capitalization).  The authors are ACC President Fred Krebs, ACC GC and leader of the Value Challenge, Susan Hackett, Steve Bokat, Larry Salibra,  ACC Associate GC Ellen Zavian and ACC Assistant GC Nichole Opkins.  If you want to know… Continue Reading

This American Life Explains The Economic Mess

Posted in Commentary

As I write this, the Dow has just gone under 8,000, and today’s Wall Street Journal notes that in the last seven days, investors have lost $8.4 trillion of wealth.   And that is only wealth lost in the market.  Home prices continue to decline in many areas as well. If you want to understand the… Continue Reading

Will Inside Counsel See The Annual “Rate Increase” Letter This Year?

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

  I’m guessing that a lot of law firm leaders are starting to think about hourly rates for 2009.  I know they’ve probably heard some rumblings about the economy.  Maybe they’ve noticed that their portfolios are worth about 40% less today than just a week ago.  Home values?  Same thing.  Hmmmmm. So as these law… Continue Reading