“It’s my client.” “I get the billings.” Even the magnanimous say, “I”ll share the billings.” In court, you often hear lawyers refer to “my client.”
Each own of these assertions of ownership weakens everyone involved.
Most lawyers believe it strengthens them, especially in any intramural fighting over control and billing. It doesn’t. Everyone knows. Saying it is does not make it so.
It weakens the firm. Firms should be enterprises, not hotels. Hotels are places where people put their luggage for a while. Then they leave and go to another hotel. The assertion of ownership of a client is strong evidence the lawyer views his or her role as a hotel room occupant and not part of an enterprise team.
It weakens the client-firm relationship because it suggests the client is chattel. It isn’t.