I recently sat in on a panel discussion by corporate counsel that focused on their relationship with outside counsel. For the most part, the corporate counsel were satisfied with the quality of work done by their law firms. They were upset with the quality of the service. Here are examples:

  1. Surprise them with unexpected fees or unexpected information.
  2. Put getting your numbers ahead of what is best for them.
  3. Sell them the next project or cross-sell them while you are working on the current project.
  4. Make them look foolish in front of their bosses or peers.
  5. Pester them about whether you will get hired for a particular matter.
  6. Be non-responsive when they need you.
  7. Send them an inaccurate document or bill, proving you did not proofread it before it went out.
  8. Bill the nickel dime things that will irritate them.
  9. Tell them the history of Swiss watch making when all they need to know is the time.
  10. Talk about yourself and your firm incessantly.
  11. Send them email blast client alerts that have nothing of value for their company.

I am sure that when you read this list, you said to yourself:

  1. These things are obvious.
  2. I never do any of these things.

If you are correct on both points, why do you suppose so many business clients are not satisfied with their lawyers and law firms?