Wednesday, February 01, 2012

In-House Counsel Speaks – Tips From "A Client Roundtable"

Posted by Laura Powers

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group event, “A Client Roundtable.” The panel was moderated by James Allison, General Counsel at Murray Devine, a financial advisory firm with an office in Philadelphia. Participating on the panel were Steve Winnie, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Counsel for CampusDoor, a technology-based education finance company; Angela Jones, Counsel at Comcast Interactive Media; and Natalie Abbott, Senior Employment Counsel for North America at Saint-Gobain Corporation, the world’s largest building materials company.

Thanks to Stacy Clark, Esq. and Mary Beth Pratt for putting together this great panel.

The panel discussed how to successfully market to, and build relationships with, in-house counsel. There were some terrific, specific tips provided, such as:

  • When selecting outside counsel, competence, cost and responsiveness are three key concerns as well as the ability to provide blended rates and/or creative fee arrangements.

  • Outside counsel should think of themselves as a business partner to the company and work on building a relationship over time.

  • Understanding the client's industry is key. Demonstrating this understanding will be a real differentiator in your marketing and outreach efforts.

  • Don’t underestimate associates. Many cases can be successfully staffed by well-trained associates who are attentive and cost-conscious.

  • After an engagement is complete, one of the ways that outside counsel can stay top-of-mind is with brief post-engagement follow-ups. This could involve a 30-minute meeting to discuss performance overall and ways to serve the client in the future or a quick e-mail sharing a relevant article of interest.

  • On invoices, let the client know if you've adjusted your fees or found other ways to save them money. They want to know this information for reporting and appreciate it.

For more information on upcoming events, visit www.dvlawmarketing.org.

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