The year is 2002. Corporate clients are not happy. A new market research report shows dismal levels of client satisfaction with law firms. Key findings highlight law firms’ lack of responsiveness, failure to keep up with clients’ changing needs and poor value. The rising adoption of e-billing gives clients greater access to data and quickly they, led by insurance companies, begin to wield newfound knowledge to usurp power from law firms. Clients start calling the shots.
This shift in power dynamics, compounded by a financial crisis in 2009, lays bare those firms unprepared or unwilling to adapt. Dissolutions and mergers run rampant. Law firms slow to make the transition find themselves underwater, struggling to maintain client relationships and unable to keep the ship afloat. The giant wave, propelled by clients shifting work to firms they deem more responsive to their needs and more attuned to delivering value, capsizes firm after firm.