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Research on the procurement of legal services

November 19th, 2012 |

Since the GFC price has become more important as a criterion influencing the buying behaviour of clients of corporate and commercial law firms, but only marginally so. This finding runs contrary to anecdotes and hype in the marketplace. A ground-breaking research-based report just released by Beaton Research + Consulting reveals the details and–with other chapters in the book–shows law firms and their clients how to sell and buy in smarter ways.

You can view the chapter by Dr George Beaton, Eric Chin and Tristan Forrester in Buying Legal – Procurement Insights and Practices here. It shows how the importance of the top five attributes driving clients' choice of law firm changed between November 2008 and November 2010. During this period price did become significantly more important for clients in deciding which firm to choose, but only marginally so.

Despite this increase price remained only the fifth most important factor in the final choice of provider, behind other drivers including ‘Leading expertise’ and ‘Understanding your business and industry’. This last driver also became significantly more important to clients over this period.

These conclusions–and our research in 2011 that confirmed the 2010 findings that price remained the fifth most important factor in the final choice of provider–surprise many in law firms when they are first exposed to the data. We observe that those who are surprised have themselves not focused on nor fully understood how their clients think about value and the complex interplay of the attributes that drive clients’ perceptions of value.

Copies of Buying Legal – Procurement Insights and Practices are available from the Managing Partner Bookshop and Amazon.

By George Beatonis a director of Beaton Capital and Beaton Research + Consulting. You can find George on Google+ at +George Beaton.

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