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Direct referral 'still number one for law firms'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 13/09/13

Maintaining a steady flow of business is important for any law firm. While winning the big cases will bring a certain degree of kudos, organisations need to make sure they put a series of procedures - such as a client feedback process - in place to deliver a good service across the board.

According to the General Counsel Excellence Report 2013 sponsored by the Global Legal Post, a direct referral continues to be the most trusted source for companies seeking a law firm to represent them.

Some 65 per cent of legal departments will look at a firm's website to get a clearer indication of the skills on offer, while 57 per cent will take direct approaches. 

However, the study pointed out the increasing power of the web in this process, as 30 per cent use Google to perform searches, while ten per cent are turning to social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to find reputable law firms.

This demonstrates how important it is for organisations to have an online presence in the 21st century, as they do not want to be seen as out of date.

In general, online procurement is going to play a big role going forwards, as 28 per cent of legal departments have used an auction or tender process on the web in order to decide who to employ.

While such a move does mean eschewing the traditional law firm panel selection, experience suggests this is a much more efficient process as it offers organisations the chance to assess firms - price transparency (65 per cent) and lower fees (70 per cent) were noted as major benefits.

This brings us back to the nub of the problem. Legal departments will always be looking for value for money and so law firms have to convince them their pricing structures are acceptable if they are to secure their business.