11 April 2016

Will formal ratings of legal service providers damage or enhance the profession?

Insights

In a recent article posted on the Beaton Research+Consulting blog, Paul Hugh-Jones, who is a partner at the firm, highlighted the top three drivers of consideration and purchase for those in the market for professional services.

Hugh-Jones shares “Our research across law, accounting, engineering and management consulting professions shows that the top drivers of consideration and purchase are the same:

  • Expertise in our area of need
  • Understanding my business and industry
  • Commerciality of advice.”

In developing Lawcadia’s business, we conducted extensive face-to-face qualitative research with a large number of in-house lawyers and CFO’s. Our research aligns with the results that Hugh-Jones presents.

In addition to understanding how clients choose law firms, our research also explored how they evaluate them after a matter is completed. When it comes to evaluating providers of legal services these same three aspects featured, in addition to:

  • Pricing Transparency
  • Project Management
  • Responsiveness

So, when it came to developing Lawcadia’s Rating System, we ensured that our unique Rating System was built around these 6 key drivers.

What is the purpose of a Rating System?

At Lawcadia, we thoroughly believe that our tools and systems will help to create a better legal market, and the Rating System is a key part of this. Knowing that they will be rated at the end of a matter incentivises the lead lawyer to provide great service and accurate, transparent pricing for their client. Yes, this should be happening anyway, but our research strongly indicates that it doesn’t. Law firms’ clients, at present, don’t have a way in which to hold them accountable. Our Rating System provides them with the necessary tool to do this.

Isn’t this going against the grain of the legal profession?

Lawyers, like all providers of professional services, are constantly being evaluated by their clients whether it be formal or informal. This is going to continue to happen. What we are doing is simply putting a framework around this to both assist clients choose great law firms in the first place, as well as to recognise law firms that treat their clients in this manner by giving them greater access to new matters outside their existing relationships.

Won’t this damage the legal profession?

What our Rating System will provide is formal feedback for lawyers and their law firms so that they can improve their service delivery. This will only enhance integrity and sustainability of the profession.

 

If you find that this is a topic that you would like to explore further, please visit us at Lawcadia.com or email us directly at [email protected].

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