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Climbing from the intermediate market plateau to the advanced level

By Nick Jarrett-Kerr, Visiting Professor, Nottingham Law School

13 February 2015

One of the most difficult questions that a law firm should ask itself is 'why should clients choose us?' In a competitive marketplace featuring a bewildering choice of potential law firms, it is sometimes difficult to spot the differences between firms that occupy or aspire to the same commercial segment.

In trying to establish a compelling area of demand for their services, many law firms stress their outstanding client service, commercial practicality and value for money, but it is hard to see these factors as game winners or anything more than obvious features that all firms ought to evidence in order to play the game.

Just as regular skiers on holiday find it hard to rise above what is known as the 'intermediate plateau' to become advanced in their proficiency, law firms have trouble becoming more than merely average. In truth, there is a host of somewhat mediocre firms in most countries and jurisdictions occupying the intermediate plat...

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