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Case Study #11

How Does Your Firm Compare to the Competition?

Firm-to-firm comparisons made by client executives can be used to capitalize on a firm’s perceived positive attributes or to address perceived competitive weaknesses.  

1.     From a COO:  “The Firm should continue to deliver on its greatest competitive advantage when compared to the competition – namely, its depth of personnel.”

2.     From a CFO:  “With regard to the Real Estate area, the Firm seems to be struggling, whereas I’m getting terrific service from [another firm].”

3.     From a General Counsel:  “The Firm’s strengths are in the areas of Litigation, Antitrust and Tax.  But, we think the Firm is weak – so we wouldn’t hire them – in M&A, divestitures and Corporate Finance.”

4.     From a VP:  “The Firm wasn’t afraid to give good, blunt, objective advice and provide constructive disagreement with those of us who have been here for some time.  In other words, they did what they are supposed to do, but most firms don’t.”

5.     From an EVP:  “We can normally get an answer from [the other firm we use] with just one phone call as opposed to the Firm’s approach of having a meeting with six people just to debate the issue.”

6.     From a CFO:  “The primary firms we work with are all in the same class.  The differentiating factor is whether or not a firm can assign the right Relationship Partner to a matter because I assume the supporting cast of characters will be equivalent.”

7.     From a Director of Litigation:  “The firm is better at budgeting than other firms.  While all firms provide a very detailed estimate, they normally veer from it and then don’t update it – and nobody likes surprises.”

8.     From a Board Member:  “I would say that, of all the firms we use, this Firm is the worst at dealing with our top management, and they are not close enough to the CEO.”

9.     From an EVP:  “If the current high volume of work that we give the Firm continues, I know of other firms that will offer discounts to get it.”

10.     From a VP:  “The Firm is able to put together and maintain a high quality team from wherever they are located, whereas other firms supply staff based on their own needs and their personnel’s availability.”


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