Management of Client Relationships by Large Law Firms – Research Document

Independence, Representation and Risk: An Empirical Exploration of the Management of Client Relationships by Large Law Firms.


Claire Coe (Claire Legal Ltd) and Dr Steven Vaughan (University of Birmingham) research focuses mainly on the shift in the balance of power from law firms to clients and the pressure of firms to deliver “value for money” in a competitive market.

A number of these clients now transact with law firms via panel processes in which there is fierce competition for work and where appointments are often accompanied by detailed, mandatory sets of terms and conditions (also often known as ‘outside counsel guidelines’). These guidelines cover a variety of matters, from fee arrangements to secondments, IT security, conflicts of interest and much more.

The big question is: how far can a law firm go in the race of competitive alternative fee arrangements and still make a profit?

Knowing the client’s values, goals and challenges and differentiating your service and expertise will give law firms an advantage in acquire more customers. In addition, taking an innovative approach to staffing will be important to show value. By prioritising what the firm want to focus on to strengthen your position in the market, you can develop the right talent and have the right person at the right place to provide strong VFM.

Download this research below to read more: