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Say goodbye to protracted rate negotiations.

You can also skip the mandatory rate cuts, RFPs, elaborate reporting protocols, stringent oversight, and micromanagement — all of which are the typical reaction to cost control. The days of draconian cost management are over for now.

I have complete confidence the cost will be right when I know they (outside counsel) are doing the right thing. It’s about their approach and total cost — not rates.” Deputy General Counsel, Innovative High-Tech Company

The ultimate control mechanism lies in something far more nebulous. 87% of corporate counsel tell us trust in outside counsel’s approach and communication equals the best cost control. This is over and above trust in the legal work — it’s about doing excellent work for the right value.

This trust is hard earned — through behavior. These behaviors include:

    • Very early assessments
    • Budgets offered at matter inception
    • Full team introductions at matter start
    • Getting feedback on the budget on both dollars and timing
    • Advising clients of budget changes in near real-time
    • Relationship partners have full authority to commit the firm to rates and fees
    • Explaining any unusual invoices to clients before sending
    • Obtaining meaningful post-matter feedback

Please join me in congratulating the following 67 firms who have earned the coveted trust for cost control:

Best of the Best

Alston & Bird
Carpenter Lipps
Jones Day
Kirkland & Ellis


Bartlit Beck
DLA Piper
Foley & Lardner
Greenberg Traurig
K&L Gates

Quarles & Brady
Reed Smith
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila


Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Carlton Fields
Fox Rothschild
Gibson Dunn
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Hunton Andrews Kurth
Jackson Lewis
Latham & Watkins

Loeb & Loeb
Maynard Nexsen
Porter Wright
Seyfarth Shaw
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


Arnold & Porter
Baker Botts
Baker Donelson
Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey
Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna
Eversheds Sutherland
Faegre Drinker
Fish & Richardson
Foley Hoag
Hartline Barger
Hogan Lovells

Holland & Knight
Husch Blackwell
Ice Miller
Keegan Werlin
King & Spalding
Kutak Rock
Ogletree Deakins
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Ropes & Gray
Sheppard Mullin
Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Shutts & Bowen
Troutman Pepper
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell

Clients dislike micromanaging their law firms more than law firms dislike being micromanaged. Corporate counsel want to spend their time advising management and solving challenging legal issues — and business issues. Managing law firm costs is a non-value-added distraction.

Embrace the behaviors and escape micromanagement and build more enduring client relationships — and enjoy better rates. These 67 firms above will all tell you it’s worth it.

Best in the market ahead.


p.s. Learn about the counterintuitive behaviors client want now — and uncover where your firm stands by ordering your copy of the BTI Client Service A-Team 2024: Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance, including:

  • Detailed definitions of new client service demands for tomorrow and how to deliver on each today
  • A custom comparison of your firm with up to 8 competitors of your choice
  • Exactly where your firm excelled and improved, and where competitors improved more
  • Pragmatic recommendations on exactly what to do about your performance

We welcome the opportunity to discuss how to improve your performance. Or just benchmark where it is against competitors. Either way — it boosts client service — and drives new business.

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