United States / Law Firms
Why Law Firms Need to Strengthen the Client Relationship

What information do you want to see from IBISWorld on COVID-19? We'd love to hear from you

by Kiera Outlaw
Aug 12 2019

The changes occurring in buyer behavior has infiltrated practically every industry and business function, especially legal firms. Lawyers and attorneys, like sales professionals and marketers, are having a similar experience: their prospects and clients want to work with professionals that understand their business and the issues they face.



Furthermore, buyers want more value for their legal spend a more consultative experience.


Competition Intensifies

On the back of these changes, competition from non-law competitors, such as the Big Four accounting firms, has intensified. These competitors are facing similar pushback from their clients, who also want more value for their spend. As a result, non-law competitors are increasingly providing legal services in addition to their other core offerings, thus becoming a one-stop-shop for buyers. According to a report by Thomson Reuters, competition stemming from non-law competitors increased considerably over 2018 to amass more than $10 billion in annual revenue for the year. 


Trends Converge

With these trends converging, legal firms have been left uniquely vulnerable. Their singular experience is that non-law competitors are poaching both talent and clients. To provide higher quality legal services, non-law competitors are headhunting top talent at legal firms just as these firms are struggling to retain clients.  

Legal firms are facing an uphill battle to remain competitive in this environment and these changes have spurred a renewed focus on strengthening the client relationship. Legal firms are refocusing by providing clients with unbiased advice coupled with business advisory services in the hopes of improving the client experience and supporting retention. The best way to improve client service and retention is to stay abreast of client-relevant trends and provide proactive counsel. Moreover, understanding the competitive environment a client operates in also provides the legal team with a competitive edge. Essentially, legal firms need to reclaim their specialty by providing high-value legal services that are unattainable from non-law competitors.


Action Items

To ensure continued success, there are three action items that law firms need to address.

  Manage Talent

With non-law competitors on the prowl, it’s more important than even that law firms take the time to understand the needs and wants of their staff, and do their best to deliver. Providing staff with good company culture as well as high-quality perks and incentives goes a long way to ensure they remain loyal.

  Focus on Clients

In addition to understanding their staff, law firms must also assess client satisfaction. Essentially, are your clients happy? Even if they are, there’s always room for improvement and launching a client survey can reveal some insight on what needs to be improved. If a survey reveals that clients are not happy, then law firms must make the necessary changes and adjustments to turn it around.

  Access to Reliable Resources

Resources are often the backbone of a productive and successful company. They increase productivity and efficiency by making daily work activities easier. A reliable resource, however, provides staff with the intelligence needed to meet new buyer expectations, i.e. understanding their business, their operating environment and the challenges it presents. Law firms that equip their staff with a reliable resource will meet

With nonlaw competitors hot on their heels, law firms need to take a hard look at their teams and their clients and figure out ways to improve the satisfaction levels of both, if they’re to remain competitive in the marketplace.

The three action items above provide a great framework to start, following through is how maintaining market share is achieved.  

IBISWorld provides a market intelligence resource that legal firms across the globe use to support their client retention efforts and maintain their place in the market.

Find out how IBISWorld can help your law firm today.