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The Mad Clientist

The 30 Best Law Firms for Client Service: The Three-peat Champ, the High-Fliers, and the Newcomers

By December 9, 2015No Comments

Clients have spoken, voted and ranked.

Skadden is best at client service for 3 years in a row. Hogan Lovells soars as does McGuireWoods and BakerHostetler. The client service race is on and new players are mixing up the game.

In each of the last 15 years The BTI Consulting Group conducted more than 300 in-depth interviews with general counsel to probe all aspects of law firm client service. One particular line of questioning asks each of these top legal decision makers to identify who is absolutely best at each of the 17 activities driving superior client service. We provide no prompts, lists or suggestionsnor do we accept self-nominations or referrals.

For 2016 the client service world looks like this:

322 law firms deliver better client service than the 328 firms clients do not identify as delivering any aspect of outstanding client service. Half of all law major law firms are behind. But, 30 firms truly stand out—standing head and shoulders above all other firms—these are The BTI Client Service 30—the best of the best, as determined solely by clients.

The 2016 Top 3:

1.       Skadden
Skadden continues to deliver the best client service. Clients credit increased accountability and a culture of always improving performance to stay ahead of their expectations. Corporate counsel rank Skadden best at client service for the 3rd year in a row.

2.       Jones Day
Jones Day—in its 15th year (of 15) in The BTI Client Service 30—lands at number 2. The firm is adding to its already strong client service DNA by beefing up client service infrastructure and accountability.

3.       Hogan Lovells
Hogan Lovells soars 22 spots to land at number 3 this year. Clients report a growing thought leadership and client education program with insights other firms don’t bring. Clients point to the firm’s thinking in cybersecurity, litigation and international issues as standing out from other firms.

2 Law Firms Make Their BTI Client Service 30 Debut:

Holland & Hart
After 3 years of steady improvement in performance, Holland & Hart is able to convert its best in class understanding of client’s business and superior value into superior client service. Clients also note Holland & Hart’s leadership on communication around matters and issues—noting the proactive nature of the communication.

Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary
This 80 attorney newcomer specializes in transportation and illustrates the power of understanding your client’s business. Scopelitis also stands out in innovation and commitment to providing client with predictability as well as deep business understanding. Scopelitis makes its BTI Client Service 30 debut at number 28 after years of rising through the client service ranks.

9 Firms Return to the Client Service 30 After a Multi-Year Absence:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Baker Botts
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Ropes & Gray
Sullivan & Cromwell
Weil, Gotshal & Manges

The BTI Client Service 30 perform 5 times better than all other law firms. Leading legal decision makers have a pool of 650 law firms to choose from when awarding legal work. Corporate counsel pay close attention (and give their work) to firms who continually improve their approach to client service delivery.

You can find at least 1 insight—if not more—into superior client service from each of The BTI Client Service 30. The common themes revolve around a commitment to improve in the activities which make a real difference to clients (we’ll be covering these in greater detail next week).

The 15th annual BTI Client Service A-Team report shows which firms are currently winning the client service race—and details exactly what they are doing to outpace the competition.

Learn how you can too in the new BTI Client Service A-Team 2016—your tool for developing superior client service to drive superior profits and growth. 

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