People, Places and Blawgs

On Monday, my partner Nicole Auerbach and I announced the launch of ElevateNext, which will work alongside Elevate Services, a best-in-class law company.  And with Elevate, we announced our collaboration with Univar, a Fortune 500 chemical and ingredient distribution company, to reduce its legal spend by 50%. Many have followed our time with Valorem.  I am grateful for the sustained interest in our work at Valorem, and so I wanted to share the thinking that went into the creation of ElevateNext.

Continue Reading Announcing ElevateNext. The next big step in serving our clients.

Using its search and social metrics, Feedspot is honoring 40 blogs from among the thousands of Legal Marketing blogs.  Blogs were ranked on the following criteria:

  • Googgle reputation and Google Search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media
  • Quality and consistency of posts
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

With that selection process, I am honored and humbled that this blog has been named a Top 40 Legal Marketing Blog.

Continue Reading In Search of Perfect Client Service named a Feedspot Top 40 Legal Marketing Blog

On March 19th, JD Supra announced its 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, which recognized 240 authors from among 50,000 who published on JD Supra’s platform this past year.  I am deeply honored to have been named a Readers’ Choice winner in the Marketing and Business Development category.

As described by JD Supra, the methodology for selection is:

Continue Reading Patrick Lamb named a 2018 JD Supra Readers’ Choice Award winner

Valorem Law Group is honored to be one of the law firms “who leading legal decision makers say are the tops in collaboration.”  According to BTI Consulting, which reported the findings of its interviews with corporate law departments.

Clients say collaborative law firms show deep understanding of client needs across the team, are up to speed on all the issues whenever an attorney joins the team, and are all focused on the same overriding objective. The attorneys at the most collaborative firms work at it.

That last sentence is so important–we really do work at being collaborative.  We dedicate space to it.  We schedule it and we take pride in it.  We believe that collaboration yields better outcomes for our clients.  We put a lot of thought into collaboration, so it is so gratifying to be recognized as a leading firm in this area.

Kudos to our very own Nicole Auerbach, who was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicago’s Most Influential Women Lawyers.  Here is how Crain’s summarized Nicole:

After concluding that the billable hour model for pricing legal services needed to change, Nicole Nehama Auerbach helped form Valorem Law Group in 2008 to give clients an alternative. Valorem went from being one of the few firms created to provide alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) for commercial litigation, to being named one of the 22 Firms Best at Delivering AFAs by BTI Consulting in 2017 (along with such powerhouse firms as Kirkland & Ellis, Morgan Lewis and Seyfarth Shaw). Auerbach is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to AFAs, innovation and the impact of the billable hour on women and minorities. In addition to her role as a thought leader on AFAs, Auerbach has had a notable year representing clients. In April, she obtained a $13.4 million verdict in federal court against the City of Chicago and six Chicago police officers for violating the civil rights of a client (Patrick v. City of Chicago, et al.). She is also the co-founder and current national board chair of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law.

And here’s what her Valorem colleagues thought of this honor:













We’re glad the rest of Chicago is learning what we’ve known for a while.

September 8, 2015                                                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Iconic General Counsel Jeffrey Carr to Join Valorem Law Group

Chicago, IL – Jeffrey W. Carr, former General Counsel of Fortune Top 500 FMC Technologies, Inc. has joined the Valorem Law Group to lead ValoremNext, a platform designed to diminish the need for legal services by preventing problems before they occur. This concept builds on the approach Carr utilized with legendary success at FMC Technologies.

Carr is widely hailed as a preeminent thought leader and forward thinking General Counsel, having been a vocal advocate of the ACC Value Challenge and catalyst to reform the practice of law.

ValoremNext will be a key component of Valorem, a New Model law firm honored by BTI Consulting as a Client Service A-Team member for Valorem’s relentless focus on client service.

“I am very excited about joining Valorem,” said Carr. “The firm is one of the most forward-thinking firms I have encountered. They understand that the need to prevent a problem is critical to providing real value to clients,” he added. Drawing on his experience as a Fortune 500 General Counsel, Carr noted that “as businesses expand their geographic base, the demands on law departments to do more with less becomes acute, and the savings available from doing the same things better are not sustainable. The only sustainable savings can come from a program that prevents the demand for legal services in the first place.”

“This is a huge opportunity for Valorem,” said Patrick Lamb, one of the firm’s founders. “Jeff was a great client. He taught us that in-house counsel are most effective when they prevent fires rather than when they are trying to put them out. We’ve been committed to providing value to our clients since the firm was founded, and the opportunity to move toward the prevention platform was a natural step for us in providing greater value to our clients,” Lamb added.

In addition to developing the prevention platform and serving as the voice of the client, Carr will be instrumental in helping Valorem continue to innovate to bring value to the client. “We have developed a national reputation for client service and the use of alternative fee arrangements,” said Nicole Auerbach, another Valorem founding member. “The opportunity to work with Jeff to make even greater strides towards innovation and client service is an exciting one,” she added.

To introduce Jeff and the prevention practice to the in-house community, Valorem plans to offer one hour programs to in-house lawyers in Houston (October 28), Chicago (November 12), and Silicon Valley (November 17). Details will be posted on the firm’s website, before the end of September.

Valorem Law Group, which is comprised of big firm refugees, was created in 2008 to provide exceptional trial and litigation service to corporate clients, with a focus on fee arrangements that are not based on the hours billed, but the results achieved. Valorem has a special focus on client service and has repeatedly been named to the Client Service A-Team by BTI Consulting. With offices in Chicago and Silicon Valley, the firm maintains a national trial and litigation practice.

ValoremNext is a consulting practice that focuses on the “what next?” phase of corporate legal strategy — how to diminish legal spend by preventing the issues that traditionally have caused an impact on all phases of corporate life, including the bottom line. Spearheaded by former FMC Technologies General Counsel, Jeff Carr, ValoremNext focuses on prevention and best practices for legal departments globally.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Lamb



Jeffrey Carr





Nicole Auerbach
Nicole Auerbach

Yesterday was International Women’s Day.  There are a lot of great, strong women in my life, and I am all the better for it.  And while it is a fool’s errand to pick just one, I want to highlight just one, meaning no disrespect at all to the other women who make my life richer.

Nicole Auerbach is one of my fellow founders of Valorem Law Group.  We have been partners in this adventure for seven years. We have argued about cases, about strategy, about tactics, about people and lots of other things.  Her arguments always make my ideas better.  I hope I have returned a fraction of that value to her.  We have talked about values, about what we want Valorem to be and how we want it to become an institution that survives both of us.  We’ve never argued about those dreams or values. We’ve worked hard together, we’ve had fun together, we’ve listened to each other when struggles were encountered.  I find it hard to imagine anyone could be more as a partner.  I know no one can be more as a friend.

I am honored that my recent post, Timekeeping Company argues lawyers using AFAs still need to keep time, has been selected by the editorial team of SmallLaw, as its SmallLaw Pick of the Week.  SmallLaw is a popular email newsletter for solos and those who manage and work in small law firms.

This recognition was a complete surprise.  The email notifying me explained:

Many awards given out these days are meaningless because marketing can play a role in determining who wins. By contrast, those who win our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award don’t even know they’re in the running and cannot influence our editorial team. We think this makes the award meaningful.

Thanks to the editorial staff at SmallLaw.

My friend Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein leads the legal procurement organization, Buying Legal Council.  Silvia and her group are holding a conference in New York City on February 2, 2015, Pricing and Collaboration.  The program looks outstanding.  I wish I was able to attend.  I am sure there will be a twitter feed, and I look forward to “attending” remotely.

Why should you care?  Whether at the front of the table or not immediately visible, procurement specialists are influencing law department purchasing decisions and many if not most companies.  A chance to understand how is rare and should be taken advantage of when conferences like this occur.


I have the great privilege of presenting with Nancy Jessen, Managing Director of Huron Consulting, in a webinar on November 10, 2014.  The program is Disrupt Law: Keys to Employ ‘Disruptive’ Legal Service Strategies that Lock In Clients, and  Increase Partner Profits, and the topics to be covered include:

  • How some firms are using commoditization as a real tool for change
  • Methods to improve the technological proficiency (fewer people getting more work done) and e-mindedness  of your lawyers
  • How unbundling (breaking down) of services is changing the legal landscape
  • Lessons your firm can learn from startups on the importance of founder (partner) vesting
  • How innovative firms are reducing the costs of services and delivering consistent client value
  • How to deliver true price transparency
  • How start-up and boutique firms are successfully rethinking old lawyering habits, and challenging conventional industry paradigms
  • Real-life examples of efficiency drivers and how to employ them at your firm
  • Much More…

Nancy brings a wealth of client experience and her insights will be worth the price of admission.

Registration is at the link provided above.  Use promo code FAC100 to receive a $100 discount.