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New research shows clients think law firms can’t keep up with all the new regulations — leaving them with a dearth of answers or inconclusive answers they can’t use.

Soaring litigation and pressure on legal departments to stay ahead of the curve creates immediate need for definite and relevant response. So, clients are going shopping.

As The Mad Clientist discussed last week clients face a bevy of new regulations — especially in labor, data privacy, and industry-specific rules. They also face new types of litigation. Clients need early opinions on what all this means, and they need them quickly and decisively — they have their CEO to answer to.

How to Send Your Client Window Shopping

Any of the following will send your clients looking for another opinion:

  • One hedged opinion
  • An equivocal answer
  • A clinical answer with no reference to your client’s company or industry
  • Delayed response

And then your clients immediately:

  • Reach out to one of the dozens of law firms with whom they work — and ask questions
  • Jump on google and get a read on the issue — relying on law firms’ thought leadership and press quotes to guide them
  • Check in with peers
  • Talk to their single most trusted outside attorney about the issues

Unless everything comes back supporting the original opinion — your relationship just took a big hit. You can expect most clients to window shop in the following key practices:

  • Labor — clients want to know what industry peers are doing or how to apply the regulations
  • Data Privacy – where and how are they impacted by all the new regulations
  • Litigation — early assessment — and how pervasive is this type of litigation in their industry
  • ESG – what do they have to disclose and what language to use
  • Clients’ use of social media — how to manage the risk of consumers misinterpreting or claiming the published statements are discriminatory or untrue
  • M&A — what are the regulatory headwinds most likely to derail this deal
  • Trade — what do newly implemented trade restrictions mean — and what’s next
A Clear Message to Law Firms

The message is clear. Clients want your opinions, interpretations, and very early assessments. They know the facts aren’t in. The regulations are brand new, and the world is uncertain. But clients need to make decisions now.

And the answers have to feel right — top legal decision makers bring broad experience and sense when a recommendation or interpretation is off track.

The most responsive law firms set up task forces to follow key issues and share their informal findings frequently — within their practice and throughout the firm. Because you just can’t predict which client will ask your firm next — be it the first or second opinion.

How to Answer Clients’ Pressing Questions Before they Ask

Winning law firms are brainstorming with clients to get ahead of the issues, so clients don’t have to ask the questions. They are honing their message for each practice and sticking their necks out to offer an interpretation of the problem.

Deep Insights Into Clients’ Questions

You can learn what clients want — and their deepest concerns — in each practice in the just-released BTI Practice Outlook 2023: Target the New Work and Business Development Strategies for an Uncertain Economy.

Find the Hottest Spots by Practice — BTI’s Practice/Industry Opportunity Matrix 2023

Our most popular and powerful tool to drive business development. We take our analysis one step further and break down legal spending by 18 industries and 15 practices.

Quickly spot spending surges and get the inside scoop on why and how to capture the work. Only in the BTI Practice Outlook 2023: Target the New Work and Business Development Strategies for an Uncertain Economy.

About the BTI Practice Outlook 2023

Designed for uncertainty the BTI Practice Outlook 2023 is your guide and the gold standard for laying out the next phase of legal markets — as our research has been for 31 years. In use by more than 200 law firms, this is the source to map out your business development with precision.

You can also learn exactly where clients are spending their money and see the law firms best positioned to help them — by name — in 8 key segments of litigation in BTI’s just-released BTI Litigation Outlook 2023: Litigation Spending in the Uncertain Economy and Beyond.

You can discover the new business development tactics working in the uncertain economy and how clients are spending their litigation dollars in 2023 for 8 segments and 18 industries.

Join the rapidly growing list of law firms getting a jump on the new business development trends.

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