Top legal decision makers have a time-honored code—they will recommend the law firms who do a much better job than anyone else. Even the most contentious competitors will share these recommendations for one simple reason—each one knows they could easily face a high-cost-of-failure circumstance—and want to know what the best options are. Their best and most reliable source of this law firm intelligence is the unprompted recommendation from a peer.
The peer to peer recommendation is serious business. Every recommendation is a personal statement about the type of provider—the commitment, service, quality, and demeanor—you are willing to entrust to a peer—from whom they would expect the same.
Not All Recommendations Are Equal
Note the emphasis on unprompted. The type of recommendation matters to potential clients and to you. Unprompted recommendations mean you earned this recommendation on your own merit rather than being asked specifically about your firm (BTI asked corporate counsel, “Which law firm do you recommend to your peers?” Most other researchers ask, “Do you recommend Firm ABC?”). The answer to the first question is a much higher and more reliable standard than the second.
Why Recommendations Matter—Big Time
Your law firm’s recommendation rate—how often your clients recommend you to their peers in an unprompted manner—is one of the most powerful indicators of future growth potential and sustainable business development. Most corporate legal decision makers will hire a law firm based on a single, unprompted recommendation from a peer.
Earning the Coveted Unprompted Client Recommendation
Superior client service is consistently the leading driver of law firm recommendations by General Counsel. Superior service accounts for nearly 2 times more recommendations than any other single factor. The 5 components of superior service include:
- Putting the client’s needs first in all aspects of the work
- Adding business context through your keen understanding of your client’s business
- Making your clients life easier by providing key information and insights before they ever ask
- Delivering higher value than expected
- Meeting your client’s targeted objectives
This year only 10 firms earn an unprompted recommendation more than 15 years in a row:
- BAKER MCKENZIE
- FOLEY & LARDNER
- HOLLAND & KNIGHT
- JONES DAY
- LATHAM & WATKINS
- ROPES & GRAY
- SULLIVAN & CROMWELL
You can see all 97 firms earning multi-year recommendations in our complimentary report: BTI Most Recommended Law Firms 2017.