Worklaw Firms Will Do Well in 2017 if They Adapt

Bloomberg BNA (Link to Full Article) Most labor and employment law firms will be able to hold their own during 2017 despite uncertainty about federal labor policy, if they adapt to changing market forces, several legal consultants said.

“We think it will be at least a decent year for labor and employment, and for at least a few firms, it will be a good year,” Michael Rynowecer, president of BTI Consulting Group, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 8.

BTI Report: Client-Targeted Marketing Boosts Leading Law Firms

The Legal Intelligencer (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) Sometimes succeeding in the legal industry is like winning the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That is what Michael Rynowecer, head of BTI Consulting, told members of the Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group on Dec. 9, using fighters Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey as an example. Rousey was highly favored to win when the two fought last year, but Holm studied Rousey's strategy and adjusted her own methods accordingly. Holm won, and Rousey suffered the first loss of her UFC career.

These 6 Firms Provide The Best Value For The Buck

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) The six law firms that clients say provide the best value for the dollar are a blue-chip bunch that don’t come cheap, proving that true worth is about the quality of the work, not the figure on the invoice.

According to the BTI Client Service A-Team report by BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.), the law firms that clients named the “best of the best” at providing value for the dollar are Cooley LLP, Dentons, Jones Day, Reed Smith LLP, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.

The Firms That Give The Best Client Service

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) Clients have named the 30 law firms that deliver the best service, and they range from long-time honorees to rapidly rising stars of the legal world. Here are the firms that sit among the cream of the crop of client satisfaction, and some insights into how they got there.

The 2017 BTI Client Service A-Team report by BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.) was based on interviews with more than 330 top-ranking corporate in-house counsel who were asked to name firms that stand out in 17 areas the consultancy has identified as the building blocks of superior client service, from innovative approaches to understanding the client’s business to providing more value per dollar.

The 5 Practice Areas Poised For A 2017 Growth Spurt

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) Five practice areas are poised to see significant growth in 2017, and the law firms that invest in those specialties now will reap big rewards, according to a report released Tuesday.

The practices that address clients’ biggest concerns and top priorities while also being positioned to command a significant chunk of corporate legal departments’ budgets next year are cybersecurity and data privacy, regulatory matters, class actions, bet-the-company litigation and mergers and acquisitions, according to BTI Consulting Group’s BTI Practice Outlook 2017 report, released Tuesday.

There's Been a Surge of Bet-the-Company Lawsuits, Study Finds

Corporate Counsel (Link to Full Article, Reg. Req.) Here's a staggering statistic: The number of corporate legal departments dealing with bet-the-company work has quadrupled over the past two years.

BTI Consulting Group revealed the stat in its annual report, "Litigation Outlook 2017," released September 20. BTI came up with the estimate by interviewing 330 chief legal officers and general counsel, as well as other top lawyers and decision makers at U.S. companies with an annual revenue of at least $1 billion.

The 4 Firms That Strike Fear In GCs

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) General counsels have singled out four law firms that they’re most afraid to face in court, pointing to the firms’ ability to upend business operations, rack up costly bills and potentially ruin the reputations of their clients’ litigation opponents.

The BTI Litigation Outlook 2017 report by BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.) found that the firms most likely to give GCs nightmares are Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, which have made BTI’s “Fearsome Foursome” list four years running, as well as Dentons, which made it on the list for the first time this year...

How To Win A Piece Of The Highest-Stakes Litigation Work

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) Companies now deal with bet-the-company litigation at a rate that has more than quadrupled since 2014, a new report says. More than half of companies reported managing bet-the-company litigation in 2016, up from 12 percent in 2014.

The dramatic growth in the highest-stakes litigation sector comes in contrast to routine litigation, which declined among companies from the year before, and complex litigation, which remained flat, according to The BTI Litigation Outlook 2017 report, by BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.).

GCs Moved $4B In Legal Work Back In-House This Year

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) Corporate general counsel have shifted a staggering $4 billion in legal spending back in-house so far this year, according to a recent survey by BTI Consulting Group Inc., marking one of the largest moves to more internal work in more than a decade.

The survey, which was released Wednesday and is based on 330 interviews with in-house attorneys BTI carried out on a rolling basis between February and August, found overall that this year’s shift so far makes this the eighth year that legal work has moved in house out of the last 10, and also put it down as the second-largest amount to be moved in-house in a single year in the past 16 years.

Chances Are Your Client Thinks Your Firm Is Stuck In A Rut

Above the Law (Link to the Full Article) This may seem obvious, but you probably need your clients to like you. Maybe not personally, but it is really imperative to running a law practice that your clients should respect your area of expertise and think you are on the cutting edge of your field — well, if you want to keep your client, at least.

But according to a recent survey of 300 in-house counsel conducted by the BTI Consulting Group, a majority of general counsel believe that the law firms they work with are stuck in the past. 

GCs Think Most Law Firms Are Stuck In The Past, Survey Says

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) While 43.5 percent of corporate counsel say their firms are changing for the better, the majority believe their firms are stuck and incapable of changing, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The BTI Consulting Group surveyed 300 in-house counsel in in-depth interviews last year, with 56.5 percent reporting their firms are in a rut. Some firms try but fall short, some fail to communicate their changes to clients, and some simply don't see the need.

“Most law firms certainly want to change,” said BTI President and founder Michael Rynowecer. “They want to have a place in the market and meet client needs. But there’s a small group that believes … the legal work is what drives the client decision, and the evidence shows that’s just not the case.”

How To Become The Firm Every GC Wants To Hire

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.)  Some law firms have perfected the art of pleasing general counsels, a skill that wins them the love of clients and allows them to score new cases and deals.

In a legal sector that has been marked by flat growth in recent years, good client service is the key to bucking mediocrity and wooing new business.That's according to the BTI Power Rankings 2016 report, released Wednesday by The BTI Consulting Group Inc. of Wellesley, Massachusetts, which found that nearly 70 percent of legal decision makers replaced at least one of their primary law firms in the last 18 months due to weaknesses in client service.

In other words, client service is still king.

The 25 Law Firms GCs Recommend To Their Friends

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) A select group of 25 law firms has nailed down the art of pleasing GCs, garnering unprompted word-of-mouth recommendations from their clients for more than five years running.

According to the Most Recommended Law Firms report from The BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.), the firms that have won general counsel endorsements for more than five years in a row are...

Top Hourly Rates for Some BigLaw Partners Have Reached $2K, Survey Finds

ABA Journal (Full Article) “More than a handful” of U.S. companies are now paying a top hourly rate of $2,000 to partners at BigLaw firms, a survey says.

Results released Wednesday by BTI Consulting Group show that billable rates for some elite lawyers reached this benchmark last year, reports the Am Law Daily. The consulting group surveyed 322 in-house counsels for companies that grossed at least $1 billion the previous year, and their findings were based on what clients paid, rather than just what firms billed...

Billing $2K an Hour? Study Says Clients Will Pay If Lawyers Deliver

The American Lawyer (Full Article, Sub. Req.) The top rates paid to the highest-paid partners at U.S. firms rose to a jaw-dropping $2,000 an hour last year, a 25 percent increase over 2014’s top rates, according to data released Wednesday by BTI Consulting Group.

The $2,000-an-hour hourly top rate, up from $1,600 in 2014, applied to “more than a handful” of the survey’s 322 in-house counsel respondents, according to BTI Consulting's Michael Rynowecer, president and founder of the group. Even more were clustered around $1,900 an hour... 

What Do The Highest-Paid Lawyers Make An Hour?

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) The top hourly rate corporate clients are willing to pay their outside attorneys has increased by a whopping 20 percent in the last year to its highest level ever, according to information released Wednesday.

That rate has now reached $2,000 per hour, according to research conducted by BTI Consulting Group, a significant increase from the previous high of $1,600 reached last year...

You can also view BTI's blog post on the subject  here: Is $5,000 an Hour Next?

22 Firms Win Top Marks From GCs On AFAs

Law360 (Link to Full Article, Sub. Req.) Twenty-two law firms are the cream of the crop when it comes to delivering alternative fee arrangements, according to a new report. Here’s what clients say sets them apart and how the firms say they make it work.

In the BTI State of Alternative Fee Arrangements report by BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.), 322 high-ranking legal department decision makers chose just 22 law firms as excelling at AFAs out of the 650 that serve Fortune 1,000 and large clients. 

Corporate Law Firm Billing Rates Rise Despite Weak Demand

Wall Street Journal (Link to Full Article) Documents filed in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases offer a peek at the mounting hourly fees charged by elite corporate law firms.

The court filings show the rates of partners specializing in corporate restructuring, as well as those with specialties like tax, litigation and corporate law. The bottom line? Fees of $1,000 an hour don’t seem so steep anymore...

That doesn’t mean everybody’s charging four figures. A survey of in-house legal departments by BTI Consulting Group found that the average highest rate paid for law-firm partners was $875 an hour in 2015, up more than 27% from three years earlier.

Companies Pressure Law Firms With Procurement Process

Bloomberg BNA (Link to Full Article) As in-house legal departments look to cut costs and reduce inefficiencies, a process through which law firms submit competitive bids for providing legal services is becoming more mainstream...

In addition to cutting costs, the increased use of RFPs may also be a response to a growing disconnect between law firms and their clients, some observers say.

“Clients are using more RFPs because client service from law firms is down substantially,” BTI Consulting President Michael Rynowecer told Bloomberg BNA...

Apps That Fight Your Parking Tickets

Bloomberg Business (Link to Full Article) The average American spends about $232 on legal expenses each year, and many attorneys charge $175 to $550 an hour. Among other things, that means people don’t hire counsel for minor offenses—only about 5 percent of U.S. traffic tickets are contested in court...

Within five to seven years, apps stand to add about 15 percent in revenue to the slow-growing $25 billion legal-services market for consumers and small businesses, says Michael Rynowecer, president of BTI Consulting Group...