Jones Day Reavis & Pogue has come out top in a survey of what clients think of their US law firms.
According to the survey by research and management consultants BTI Consulting Group - dubbed 'The Survey of Client Service Performance for Law Firms' - the firm beat off highly profitable New York firms such as Shearman & Sterling and Weil Gotshal & Manges, neither of which made it into the top 30.
Overall best performing law firm Client service Client focus
Providing commitment to help
Providing value for the dollar
Understanding the client's business
Breadth of service
Helping to advise on business issues
Bringing together national resources
Keeping the client informed
Dealing with unexpected changes
Providing quality products
Meeting technical specifications
Anticipating the client's needs
But the survey found that most Fortune 1,000 companies are largely dissatisfied with their law firms. Only 24.7 per cent of companies recommended their primary firms. The survey's introduction said: "Clients tell us that their outside law firms are managing to do just enough to get by - they're doing B work, not A work. Clients are underwhelmed with the client service they're getting from their law firms now." The survey was based on interviews with almost 200 corporate counsel from Fortune 1,000 companies throughout the US. The consultants developed a quantitative ranking of all the law firms' client service performance across the board. The average score of all firms nominated by clients was 18.25 - the firms in the top 30 nearly all scored more than double that. Jones Day came out top in eight of the 20 categories (see judging categories box), and was among the top firms in the remaining 12. London managing partner Robert Thomson said: "We're a partner-led practice, so it's just totally in tune with what we do that the partners are there to give clients the service they want to get. Obviously, we've got to keep on; this is not a short-term thing." Firms in the top 30 are described as the BTI Client Service A-Team. The survey also found that, overall, smaller firms performed better for client service. It stated: "Our research found that, overall, smaller firms perform very well in the client-service arena, and compete quite strongly against the larger firms with Fortune 1,000 clients. We urge the large firms to take note."