25 GCs Signed Open Letter to Learn From Client-Firm Relationships

These clients worked closely with AdvanceLaw on a real-time data study of which client and firm behaviors drive satisfaction and results. The insights are powerful.

A Few Highlights from the GC Thought Leaders Experiment

Introduction to the GC Thought Leaders Experiment

Why a Fortune 200 GC migrated all his work from certain firms

A Chief Legal Officer on Psychology and Law Firm Relationships

Our Method

We looked at data from dozens of in-house legal departments, hundreds of law firms, and thousands of matters to determine which attributes (e.g., flat fees, firm size, relationship length, legal spend, convergence, feedback, rates) influence performance (e.g., quality, responsiveness, expertise, solutions focus) on actual legal work. This is not an opinion survey; it’s regression analysis to learn which behaviors drive results.

Published Findings

The Big Market Problem No One Talks About

The legal market fails to reward the best firms and lawyers. This is because clients don’t share performance information. As noted by the world’s leading scholar on market disruption, Clay Christensen, GCs must rely on pedigree as a proxy for quality, rather than actual performance.

The result is stark: firms receiving the most work (Am Law 1-20) are, on average, scoring lower on solutions-focus (the #1 thing GCs seek) vs. other major firms (Am Law 21-200). And a market that fails to reward performance breeds complacency and creates little incentive to innovate.

Our Approach: Performance Leads to More Work from 300 GCs

With our member GCs, we vet firms for innovation and client service, suggesting star lawyers for major matters, portfolios, and panels. Strong feedback earns more work from our GCs (who spend $10B on outside counsel), so firms have a large market incentive to outperform. This is the win-win: counsel keen to excel, and clients receiving top service and quality assurance.

Does It Work?

We share performance scores with our GCs (including by type of work and geography). The scores are impressive. In fact, through our GC Thought Leaders Experiment, we can compare counsel performance on matters through AdvanceLaw with matters by incumbents. On every measure, counsel performance through the AdvanceLaw system is better, as reflected below.

Things should change from you don’t get fired for hiring a white shoe firm to you don’t get fired for using AdvanceLaw.
Sue Miller General Counsel, Avery Dennison
This is the most rigorous law firm vetting and selection process that I have ever seen.
Tom Sabatino Former GC of Aetna, Walgreens, United Airlines, and Hertz

Contact Us

Every year we welcome innovative GCs to our community.
If you’re interested in learning more about the project, please let us know.