In-House Counsel recently reported on the results of the Managing Outside Counsel Survey Report prepared by the Association of Corporate Counsel and Serengeti Law of Bellevue, Washington. The study revealed, among other things, the four reasons that companies are firing outside counsel. In 2005, 55.6% of the General Counsel surveyed reported that they terminated the relationship with at least some of their outside firms, up almost ten percent (50.7%) from 2004. The reasons most cited for firing outside counsel were:
1. poor quality of work
2. lack of responsiveness
3. high fees
4. personality issues
Note that, after the threshold issue of competent work, two of the three main reasons for firing an outside firm were for deficiencies in what some lawyers refer to as “soft” skills—lack of responsiveness and personality issues.
How responsive are your lawyers? Do they have well-developed client relationship skills?