Morning Briefing: Why are large corporates ditching their law firms?

by NZ Lawyer20 Mar 2015
Why are large corporates ditching their law firms?
A new report from BTI Consulting Group shows that 60 per cent of large corporates are ending their relationship with one of their primary law firms. The reason is mediocre service. The report says that with pressure on time and budgets, clients are not prepared to accept anything less than superior service and will replace law firms that are not coming up to the mark. BTI says that firms that succeed are focused on developing new business while ensuring excellent service for existing and new clients. The consulting firm advises that law firms solicit feedback from clients that they want to keep; train staff who want the knowledge to develop clients; have a plan and a client team to develop it; and measure and track client retention. It also says that large clients should be viewed as being “in a market of one” and treated accordingly.

Latham & Watkins re-focuses Middle East operations
Latham & Watkins is closing its offices in Abu Dhabi and Doha and focusing on Dubai. The closures will happen by the end of the year with staff relocating to the Dubai office. After seven years in all three locations the firm conducted a review and concluded that it could operate a hub in Dubai without significantly affecting its client retention in the other two locations. As well as Dubai the firm will continue to have an office in Saudi Arabia which is a joint venture with a local firm.

Former Hong Kong lawyer leaves Allen & Overy
Jim Wickenden, former head of securities at Allen & Overy in Hong Kong, has left the firm. Wickenden was in Kong Kong for eight months and left last summer to become head of US corporate finance at the firm, based in London. He has now retired from the firm and has been replaced by Kevin Muzilla. A&O has also recently lost Mark O’Neill who has retired and David Wilkie who rejoined his previous firm Clayton Utz in Sydney.

Retailer counts the cost of cyber breach law suit
The potential cost of a data breach is painfully clear to US retailer Target, which was the victim of a cyber attack in 2013 with at least 40 million customers’ accounts compromised. Having been landed with a class action law suit the firm has announced a settlement plan which involves a fund of US$10 million for those whose data was breached. Claimants who can prove that they have suffered actual harm from the breach will be eligible to up to US$10,000.