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Confronting the six big challenges of client mindsets and perceptions

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

3 December 2015

Corporate clients often have poor perceptions of lawyers and their firms. I outline below the six main negative mindsets which in-house counsel have about law firms and offer some
possible solutions.

1. Lawyers are self-serving

At a recent meeting I held with a group of in-house counsel, general distrust was expressed of law firms' billing practices. I was surprised by the level of suspicion that law firms will always seek their own advantage in recording hours, find exceptions to fixed-price deals and allocate work between partners and associates to their own benefit rather than the good of the client.

Transparency of billing processes and comparative data between panel firms can clearly help, but the problem still persists when all panel firms are perceived to be indulging in the same self-serving practices. This mindse...

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