The 17 Biggest Takeaways From BTI’s Mid-Year Market Update

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So many changes. So hard to uncover. So easy to overlook. So lucrative for the firms who can talk risk and uncertainty. Here is a recap of our BTI Mid-Year Market Update 2019 webinar on June 19, 2019:

We lay out the defining new trends and opportunities changing the market. But first, we would like to thank the more than 1,200 individuals who joined us and appreciate all the feedback—especially considering how much client feedback we develop for our clients. Here are the highlights:

  1. Economic uncertainty is tied at all-time high with the financial crisis—driving a surge in new, complex legal work

  2. The surge in spending on complex work is driving unrelenting rate pressure in all other work

  3. Corporate counsel added $600 million to their outside counsel budgets since December 2018

  4. Clients want bigger, stronger law firm teams for complex work, especially in: cybersecurity, M&A, litigation, investigations, and anything smelling of Bet-the-Company work

  5. Clients want to hire law firms they believe can scale up to a larger team if the need should arise

  6. Large law firms have to prove they can work as a collaborative team—49% of clients think they can’t

  7. Mid-sized firms have to prove their team can work with the client and play a lead role when needed—most clients think medium sized firms need direction

  8. Small firms have to prove they understand the nature of the real or perceived business risk—clients already believe they can work in teams

  9. Clients are hiring small, medium, and large firms for lucrative complex work

  10. Only 36% of corporate counsel recommend a law firm to a peer—taking a key source of new business out of the system and ramping up RFPs

  11. Clients rate their law firms an average of 8.3 out of 10 for dealing with complexity

  12. 77% of client hires in the last year are new law firms—clients are looking for firms who know how to deliver services in the face of record uncertainty—and law firms who perform at 8.3

  13. Corporate counsel single out 23% of law firms as highly skilled in dealing with complexity

  14. Most top legal decision makers don’t see law firms asking about or indicating they understand the nature of uncertainty clients face today

  15. Law firms with sophisticated client feedback systems are learning about the uncertainty and complex matters well before anyone else

  16. These same law firms are going far beyond asking about goals, needs, and the ideal relationships

  17. You can learn the questions to ask to uncover this coveted work in these complimentary client feedback tools or by contacting us here

3 themes emerge: 1.) the stakes are high, 2.) clients want reinforcements in the waiting, 3.) you can’t get this work without deep, meaningful client dialogue. You can start with your best clients, your largest clients, or we love assigning each client-facing partner 2 clients to go learn about the risk and uncertainty. You will accomplish more with bite-sized goals spread throughout the firm than a big initiative.

Use the BTI complimentary client feedback tools to start, watch the video recording here, and go set some goals for your partners. Someday the world may be less complex.

Best in the market ahead.

MBR