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Clients want lawyers to be more like business partners: latest BDO global survey

25 October 2017

Clients want lawyers to be more like business partners – to bring ideas to the table that can help them, and present more creative ways to add value.

Greater connectivity and integration has been a common change to how law firms work with their clients, offering more transparency, control, and providing the tools for more collaborative ways of working.

The findings come from the latest BDO Law Firm Leaders Survey, which discusses how Managing Partners are feeling in terms of their current interaction with clients, and what will be the key to maintaining and growing a successful law firm. 

BDO professional service partner, Tony Young, said law firm managing partners agree that change is inevitable and that we are entering a new era of client relationships with different expectations around the services professionals provide and how these services are provided.

“Many law firm leaders predicted a move towards ‘strategic business partnerships’ and a shift away from purely transactional engagements with clients,” he said.

“They expect to find that lawyers and other experts within the firm will provide more advice and support to their clients outside specific matters and often outside technical legal issues.

“For example, a growing trend is for in-house legal departments to turn to law firms for advice on management and operational issues, such as new technology investments.”

While greater connectivity and integration relies primarily on new and shared technologies, the access these will provide clients has wide ranging implications.

“They have the potential to change the way clients work with law firms, provide clients with more transparency and control, and provide the tools for more collaborative ways of working,” Mr Young said.

To read the Law Firm Leaders Survey visit the BDO website.