Client entertainment, carried out in a safe manner, will soon be back on the agenda
The RollOnFriday In-House Lawyer Survey 2021 has launched.
It gives in-house lawyers the opportunity to spill the beans on the best and worst firms they instructed in the last year, whether their panel firms adapted to the pandemic, and what they value most in a firm.
In last year's poll, in-house lawyers said the most important quality was not a good rapport, or fat bribes, but simply the quality of what they were told. "We don't want to pay for bad advice that we then disseminate to the business", said a respondent.
Pricing, however, came bottom. "Good work is good work," said one client. "I’d rather pay twice as much and get the right answer, than half as much on advice and ten times as much on solving the issue."
If you're in-house and agree, or disagree, have your say and take the poll. Don't forget to provide any juicy snippets, as well. This anecdote of an interesting approach to building a client relationship, comes courtesy of 'Muttley' on the discussion board:
"When I was in house there was a firm on my panel which was a relic of a set of firms selected for debt recovery and repo work...One of the partners used to write letters which always, without fail, read 'I write to provide an update on this above-mentioned matter' and then would have a single paragraph which stated that nothing had happened and then a third which always stated 'I therefore have no option but to mark the file for further consideration at a later date.'
I wrote to them saying I wasn't interested in paying for that and that we were in the process of reviewing panel providers for such work.
The senior partner wrote a shitty email back saying 'what do you expect? Nothing has happened!' I said if nothing has happened then I am not paying to be informed on a monthly basis that nothing has happened. I then pointed out that we had 22 months of the same letter and that his partner was raising bills to tell me he hadn't done anything. He wrote back saying I was being difficult and I asked 'what bit of the client care manual does that come from then?' and he wrote saying he'd been looking after our organisation for a decade and thought my attitude was inappropriate and that I ought to show some respect for people who knew more about the business of law than I did because I was just some shabby in-house dilettante (his actual words).
Then, remarkably, he enclosed a CD case with no CD in it, saying 'in the meantime can I draw your attention to the fact that my band has released a Christmas songs album and you can buy this online for £6.99'."
Whether you're an in-house lawyer who has instructed a firm with a similar lack of self-awareness, or want to single out a firm for praise, fill in the survey below now.