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Law Firms Can Learn How to Adapt From Accounting Firms

Studies of the legal services sector reveal what law firm leaders know only too well: Growing revenue is, and will likely continue to be, a significant challenge. The decline in demand has been attributed to factors beyond firms’ control, such as the fallout from the 2008 recession; stagnant or shrinking business sectors and markets; and the loss of clients through mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy. In response, many companies slashed legal spend and shifted some legal services to offshore firms. Law firms can no longer continue do business as usual.

In comparison, accounting firms faced diminished demand for services years before law firms. They responded by making many changes to their business model. Chief among them were processes that served to “institutionalize” clients — client team/key account programs were essential elements of their survival.

In order to gain an insider’s perspective on what law firms can learn from accounting firms, I spoke to James Stapleton, CMO at Blank Rome and former Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer of Dickinson Wright, who migrated to law from the accounting industry. James previously served as the CMO of Littler Mendelson and honed his client team expertise at PwC, where he was in charge of several client teams.


Big Companies Advise Law Firms to Build Relationships

At their annual corporate counsel event, New York LMA members heard what works and what doesn't work straight from the horse's mouth.