Congratulations on your Bankruptcy… and Other Client Service Turkeys

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and The Mad Clientist would like to give thanks to the attorneys delivering some of the year’s more egregious client service turkeys. The Mad Clientist shares these true stories from corporate counsel in the hopes we can learn some lessons—and have a few laughs. 

Let Me Help You Help Me

From an email a NY law firm partner sent his client prior to BTI’s in-depth client research:

“I’ve attached the questions my firm wants to ask you. Management is on a real client service rampage so I don’t see how I can get you out of this. Obviously, anything you can do to make me look good would be appreciated. I’m not sure how this will factor into my comp, but you saying good things can’t hurt.”

Congratulations on Your Bankruptcy

From BTI’s annual research with legal decision makers—an EVP at a major retailer shared:

“I kid you not:  after we filed for bankruptcy, I got a note from our law firm saying, ‘Congratulations on getting the deal done!’  Don’t they have any control over what goes out the door? It was unnerving and very inappropriate.”
 

I’m On Your Side…Sort of

From BTI’s client feedback interview with the General Counsel of a large financial services company:

“Our company has been investing a large amount of money in new products for the consumer market with the ultimate goal of growing our market share. Our in-house attorneys are part of the product development team so we can keep an eye on regulatory issues. Each week, the in-house lawyers debrief with our law firm to provide updates and discuss the regulatory implications.

After 4 weeks, we realized our law firm had shot down every single idea we proposed. 

It’s like we were talking to a government regulator rather than our own lawyer.  During these meetings, the lead partner would say, ‘When I put on my regulatory hat…’ and spend the next half hour explaining to us why we couldn’t move ahead with our plan. 

Finally, I sent the Managing Partner of the firm a box of 6 company hats. I put a note in the box asking his attorneys to wear my company’s hat instead of the regulator’s hat.

The Managing Partner changed the team and we got two attorneys who helped us strategize our way through the issues. But why did I have to piss away 4 weeks?” 

MBR/JPD