Clifford Chance is to re-engineer its entire approach to relationship management after feedback from four key clients
The move comes after two years of research and investment, which began with a pilot scheme focusing on EADS, Merrill Lynch, Siemens and UBS Warburg. The original four were chosen deliberately to take account of the merged firm's UK, US and Continental practices. Following the pilot scheme, the firm is rolling out a revised programme for its top 20 clients. These clients, which comprise a wide variety of corporates and financial institutions, account for 45 per cent of the firm's global billings of £937m. Each client will be assigned an integrated legal team, to include partners and associates across different practice areas and jurisdictions, as well as business development professionals. The shake-up will include a change of emphasis for key client partners away from pure fee-earning and into relationship management. A source close to the process said: "It's an overtly programmatic approach. It's particularly relevant for a firm with a US wing because of the different approaches to relationship building."