Andrew Dey and Melanie Farquharson of the SCL KM Group have produced a fascinating report which details the results of their research into ‘value add’ – the additional services provided by law firms which go beyond the scope of the contractual commitment arising from their client’s instructions
A new report ‘Valuing Value Add’ has now been published. The report is the result of research on the value of law firm value added services and is a product of the work of members of the Society for Computers and Law Knowledge Management Group. The report identifies the services provided under the ‘value-add’ umbrella which are most appreciated by in-house teams.
In 2011, UK research looked at the level of investment required by law firms to provide ‘value add’ services and how much in-house legal teams valued those offerings. In November 2017 legal consultant Andrew Dey and Melanie Farquharson of 3Kites Consulting (members of the Knowledge Management Group of the Society for Computers and Law) published an updated version of the research, incorporating input from in-house corporate legal teams and a number of law firms, taking into account feedback from an SCL event held in July 2017. The research document can be downloaded from the link below.
The authors hope that the report will help in-house clients and law firms ‘have meaningful conversations about value add’ and help them focus on those services that bring the ‘greatest value to the particular client, whilst considering the effort required from the law firm’.
The report’s special value arises in part from being able to compare the ‘winners and losers’ in terms of value add services over the period since the 2011 research was carried out.
There are some obvious highlights to extract from the report:
• It is important that law firms tailor their offerings to the client’s needs, rather than making assumptions about what the client will find beneficial.
• Updates and bulletins, as offered by so many firms, rarely provide the kind of practical insight and guidance which the in-house teams are looking for.
• Real-time financial information on costs and access to portals which show the status of ongoing matters was highly valued.
• Post-matter reviews are highly valued by in-house teams.