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Stop navel gazing and focus on your clients' changing needs

By Julious P. Smith, Jr, Chairman Emeritus, Williams Mullen

11 April 2012

In late 2008, the legal market turned upside down. Clients started to more closely scrutinise lawyers and legal bills and, in doing so, found that pressure applied in the right way at the right time can create change.

The disappearance and consolidation of clients, combined with recessionary fears, has reduced legal work in virtually every market. The remaining clients have recognised their position of strength and created a new order for lawyers.

Firm selection has become more competitive. Delinquencies have risen. Requests for proposals have become the norm. Client loyalty has waned as fee negotiations have increased.

Alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), talked about for so many years, have become a reality. Unfortunately, m...

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