The Firm’s Goals In Each Client Relationship

Clients     |     Goals in Client Relationship    |    Expectations of Client    |    Firm Billing Policy

In each Client relationship, the Firm has certain common goals. The Firm can share what those goals are. As to the Firm’s performance in meeting those goals, the Firm leaves that assessment and evaluation to its Clients and others. The Firm invites any prospective Client to speak with any existing or former Client and seek that existing or former Client’s input on the Firm’s track record in meeting these goals.

Some of the goals that the Firm has for each Client relationship include:

  1. Carry out the commitment to the Client regardless of the Client’s ability to pay.
  2. The quality of the Firm’s professional services and the responsiveness of those services not vary in quality because of the Client’s ability or inability to pay.
  3. Give the Client the Firm’s best advice regardless of whether the Client agrees with that advice and regardless of whether the Client wants to hear the particular advice.
  4. Do not send the Client a final invoice the Client has not first approved in draft form.
  5. Do not have the Client make a payment to the Firm that does not fit the Client’s budget.
  6. Do not have the Client make a payment to the Firm that does not fit the Client’s sense of the value of the services provided by the Firm.
  7. Do not bill based on time.
  8. Do not bill for routine and non-substantial disbursements.
  9. Do not let the financial consequences to the Firm of its advice to the Client affect what advice and counsel the Firm gives to the Client.
  10. Do not be anything less than a “relationship” law firm.
  11. Be open to constructive criticism and do not be defensive in the face of criticism.
  12. Do not put the Firm’s interests ahead of those of the Client.
  13. Be responsive to phone calls, faxes, other communications, and the time frames of the needs of the Client.
  14. Be thorough and comprehensive.
  15. Be intellectually precise, practical and realistic.
  16. Do not treat issues as intellectual abstractions but instead as real world problems in the context of the Client’s business.
  17. Do not negotiate points for the sake of negotiating or the sense of winning but instead because there are real business reasons why the Client needs the point?
  18. “Add value.”
  19. Share the Firm’s relationships with the Client where and when appropriate.
  20. Invest the time to help when the Client needs debt or equity capital, to buy or to sell, additions to its management team, strategic or capital partners, and introductions to potential major customers.
  21. Invest the time to understand the Client’s business and its industry.
  22. Do not experience financial benefits from the Client disproportionate to the benefit the Client experiences from the matter.
  23. Do not allow the Firm to “win” when the Client does not.
  24. Each year sit down with the Client and review constructively the relationship and the Firm’s performance on these Goals.
  25. Invest the time and the money every several years to attend a principal trade show or industry gathering for the Client’s business to better understand the Client’s business, the other participants in the industry, the issues and problems facing the Client’s industry and the competitive landscape.
  26. Have the humility and commitment to the Client to recommend to the Client to hire Special Counsel when a matter arises for which the Client would be best served if the Firm involved Special Counsel instead of the Firm handling the matter.
  27. Contribute the time, professional services and expertise to assist in the selection of Special Counsel and to serve as “ad hoc” internal general counsel to coordinate and manage Special Counsel, the tactics, strategy and the decisions to be made until the matter is resolved.
  28. Offer to contribute the professional time to have a Firm professional sit at and work out of the Client’s offices or facilities (all the professional needs is a desk, access to a phone and computer hook up – a secretary’s cubicle is fine) for a full or part of a day on a regular or periodic basis, e.g. once a month or week, to facilitate communication, the connection between the Client’s management team and staff and the Firm, regular access for the Client, and heading off issues before they become major issues and problem resolution.