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Dealing with clients at breaking point

Dr Bob Murray explains the effect of workplace stress on behavior and decision making, and how lawyers can combat this for themselves and their clients

21 July 2016

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine, who is a practice leader in a major firm, and he was telling me a horror story about one of his major clients. Apparently the client had suddenly decided that his firm would no longer be able to do any work for the client's company and that all matters that were then open had to be passed over to other firms for completion.

'Clients are becoming more irrational,' my friend declared. 'This one decided that because we sometimes work with another firm they were having a dispute with we were taboo. We had nothing to do with the dispute. Crazy!'

It's an interesting question: are clients becoming 'crazier'? As a clinical psychologist, as well as a scientist, I try to avoid terms like 'crazy', but if you take it to mean more short-sighted in their responses and more irrational in their decisions, I think the answer is yes...

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