Morning Briefing: Are law firms’ clients suffering from ‘Stockholm syndrome'?

by NZ Lawyer29 Jul 2014
Are law firms’ clients suffering from ‘Stockholm syndrome?’
While accepting that change in the legal profession is happening, many law firms are changing at a very slow pace. Paul Gilbert of consultancy LBC Wise Counsel says that this could be down to “a kind of Stockholm syndrome that plays out between law firms and their hostage clients". Gilbert says that most law firms are resistant to change and are good at seducing clients into believing that the relationship is a good one when actually it is more like one of abuser and abused. In dealings with general counsel he says that “in-house teams have weaknesses disguised by their 'friends' in law firms who will provide all the fixes they need, just at a price". In conclusion he asks how change will come about if law firms aren’t willing and clients won’t push for it. The answer, Gilbert suggests, is that some firms will break ranks or newcomers will offer a new choice, while GCs will seek support from other sources.
 
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