If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

That’s what my Grandmother told me. (Perhaps she should have spoken at the Association of Corporate Counsel national conference sponsored by Kain Lawyers.)

It has been clear to me for some time that clients of private practice law firms are looking for more value. Perhaps you are one of them.

For many, this translates to greater certainties in their legal spend and having a legal team that works with them for continuous improvements in productivity, better efficiencies in service delivery and cost reductions.

For their law firms, this often means changing the conversation from how long something will take and charging hourly rates to agreeing on the scope of the work and a fee based on the value that work will deliver.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

But the problem is, the law firms aren’t currently incentivised to suggest this change in approach and, judging by the comments at the recent conference, the majority of clients appear scared to have this conversation with their legal providers.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why.

Let’s be clear whom I’m talking about.

The people that seem scared to confront their service providers are smart, educated lawyers. Many of them used to work in traditional corporate law firms; the sort of law firms they complain are now out of touch with the times, not delivering value and making management of legal budgets needlessly more difficult.

So, what’s to be done?

Well, for starters, I’d suggest that you, the clients, remind yourself that you hold the bargaining power. You are, after all, the people spending the money.

Simply start the conversation with your existing law firm. Ask them to outline how they will help you achieve your goals.

Alternatively, you can stop worrying about having the difficult conversation with your current legal providers and simply go to a firm that intuitively understands what you need in productivity, efficiency and cost improvements.

If they are good, they will start the conversation without you having to.

Kain Lawyers exists to create opportunities by delivering certainty for clients and making commercial calls.

We deliver agreed objectives, on time and on budget and without unnecessarily getting in the way of your business.

If you think this sounds good, talk to us.
After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Gerry Cawson