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Why Clients Fire Lawyers, and The Telltale Signals

Posted in Client Communications, Marketing Tips

Often clients don’t actually fire law firms, they just walk away. Sometimes lawyers don’t even know it. The client simply gives work to another firm

I ran across a post that spells out numerous reasons law firms get fired on Mike O’Horo’s RainmakerVT site by Pam Woldow, and the telltale signals you should recognize.

Some of the common reasons include:

  • too many surprises
  • exceeding budgets
  • excessive lawyering and fees
  • lack of appreciation for client’s internal deadlines
  • indifferent communication and poor responsiveness to client needs
  • not understanding the clients business or industry
  • lack of fresh ideas or approaches to matters

So, what are some of the signals indicating your firm is in trouble:

  1. Slowdown in new client matters with lame client excuses;
  2. Your firm is one of several firms asked to respond to a client RFP;
  3. Challenges to the firm’s work product and processes, and invoices or some trivial issue;
  4. Unusual delays in clients returning calls or emails, or a break down altogether in client communications; and
  5. Your client contact blames higher-ups for whatever has become an issue in the relationship.

If you recognize any of the symptoms above, you need to change the situation ASAP, especially with key clients. That means contact, contact, contact containing continual (and meaningful) communication [okay, okay, a bit much on the alliteration]. The important point is you do not want to get fired by an important client for your failure to recognize what things could bring it about.