In this last segment of my comments on the Association of Corporate Counsel’s “2006 Chief Legal Officer Survey," I will address two “good news” aspects of the survey. One deals with how outside law firms can enhance their relationships with in-house counsel; the other identifies areas of potential work for firms. (If you haven’t seen my earlier posts on the CLO survey, you can read them here and here.)

Relationship Building

The top eight initiatives implemented by law firms to improve their relationship with in-house counsel included:

  • Seminars/Training/CLE Sessions
  • Improved Reporting/Status Updates/Communication
  • Alternative/Fixed Fees
  • Client Relationship Manager Team
  • Invitations to Firm Events/Networking Opportunities/Contact Referrals
  • Desire to Understand Business
  • Discounted Rates
  • Updates on Developments in Law

What struck me about this particular question was that only 101 respondents (out of 848) even answered it. Does that mean that the rest of the law firms didn’t try to improve their relationship with in-house counsel? If that is the case, think about the tremendous amount of legal marketing opportunities that may be sitting out there for the relationship conscious firms.

Areas of Potential Work

One question posed to the CLOs involved where they anticipated spending their time over the next 12 to 18 months.

  • Most Time – Transactional work (66%), C-suite relations (36%)
  • 2nd Most – Board relations (39%), Compliance (37%)
  • 3rd Most – Cost control (49%), Staff retention (49%)

Again, there are law firm marketing opportunities, especially for corporate lawyers; but, that isn’t to say that that is all there is out there. Remember, that in my first CLO survey post I mentioned that 25% plan to increase their use of outside law firms in 2007. Certainly, there will be lots of work in other areas as well.