Report highlights key strategies for enhancing client-law firm relationships

The study shows the recurring challenges that general counsels face in dealing with external lawyers

Report highlights key strategies for enhancing client-law firm relationships

A new study published by Thomson Reuters delved into the dynamics of the relationships between corporate clients and their external legal counsel, offering insights on how these essential partnerships can be optimized for better legal matter outcomes.

The "Secrets to successful matters" research drew on responses from corporate general counsel (GCs) and outside counsel. It illustrated the recurring challenges GCs face in their dealings with external lawyers. These challenges primarily revolved around cost control, responsiveness, quality of outcomes, and the alignment of the legal work with the client's business objectives.

Despite the general satisfaction reported by corporate clients and their legal counsel regarding the strength of their relationships, the research identified areas where improvements are necessary to enhance the likelihood of success in legal matters.

The Thomson Reuters Institute focused on gathering perspectives from outside counsel to pinpoint actions that corporate in-house legal teams might take to facilitate better outcomes. This inquiry aimed to uncover practical measures that GCs could implement to improve the effectiveness of their external legal partnerships.

The study's findings are based on a survey of 1,122 lawyers recognized by their clients for standout performance, alongside over 2,000 interviews with corporate general counsel. This data collection effort sought to assess the success of legal matters relative to the client's objectives, encompassing not only litigation wins but also considerations like cost efficiency, risk management, and the advancement of the client's broader business goals.

Key takeaways from the report included the identification of areas for improvement in the client-law firm relationship, with outside counsel offering insights into best practices and highlighting how GCs could better manage these partnerships. Specifically, the study points to the importance of thorough preparation, effective project management, and fostering a partnership based on openness and honesty as critical steps toward optimizing legal matter success.

Moreover, the report emphasized behaviours within the GC's control that significantly influence the outcome of legal matters. According to Thomson Reuters, by leveraging the insights offered by outside counsel in the report, GCs can improve certain aspects of these vital relationships and, ultimately, improve upon the success of every legal matter.

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