A surprising number of otherwise sophisticated law firms spend a horrifying amount of time and money pursuing strategic alliances, partnerships, or other relationships with other firms. Some of these relationships work well. Most, however, produce disappointing results for both parties.
This is the first of a series of posts that outline some the mistakes that law firms make when considering a strategic relationship, whether in a one-to-one relationship or in a law firm network.
By far the biggest cluster of mistakes is poor research. Law firm partners often waste hundreds of hours every year on "road shows" to meet other law firms. Most of these meetings a little more than cold calls. Not surprisingly, they produce few benefits other than an occasional free lunch in a law firm conference room.
We advise our clients to be sure that they have thoroughly researched the law firms they want to visit and the position of those firms in their respective legal markets. When we conduct this market research for our clients, we look for points of affinity between our client and the target law firms. Before we recommend that one of our clients visit a candidate law firm, we want to be reasonably sure that there are specific reasons to believe that any relationship that emerges from that free lunch in the conference room will be productive for both firms.
Read more on the Walker Clark Worldview Blog.