find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
Competitive pricing is about getting smarter, not cheaper

Competitive pricing is about getting smarter, not cheaper


The standard response to increased competition is to drop prices but lawyers would do better to “actually talk to their client” about how to create value for money, according to the chief pricing officer at Allens.

“If you are one of a number of firms that [a potential client] considers capable of doing the work but they chose the firm that could do it at the lowest price then your pricing strategy has failed,” said Pier D'Angelo (pictured), speaking at the Australasian Legal Practice Management (ALPMA) Summit last week.

"As American entrepreneur Seth Godin once said, ‘Perhaps the reason price is all your clients care about is because you haven't given them anything else to care about’," continued Mr D'Angelo.

He said that lawyers dislike the idea of selling: “Lawyers are often introverted and they don't like talking about money. They love the practice of law. The last thing they want to do is sell.”

Mr D'Angelo said a typical scenario could play out like this: “Client invites partner to bid for some work. Email arrives in partner's inbox maybe 10 days out. Partner ignores email.

“Four days out partner thinks, 'I've got to do something with that email'. Partner flicks email to junior lawyer or senior associate […] who knows nothing about the client.

“One hour before it is due partner says, 'we've got to put a competitive price here because the market is tough'.”

In the absence of any information about which firms are competing and minimal understanding of the client’s pricing preferences, it is no wonder that this process is ineffective, Mr D'Angelo explained.

Be prepared to negotiate price

Clients are professionalising the way they buy services and will pass on firms that cannot articulate value convincingly, Mr D'Angelo continued.

There is a segment of the market that buys at the lowest price to achieve the minimum result, he said. But most of the market buys based on perceived value for money.

“[Lawyers must] accept the fact that it is their responsibility to give the client reasons to chose you [and] not let the client make up their own reasons why they should choose you over someone else,” he added.

However, lawyers often fail to engage in conversation even though talking to clients is often the only way to understand the client’s needs.

“Not all clients are the same,” he said. Some clients want the certainty of fixed fees, but others care more about quality than price and prefer hourly rates.

Mr D'Angelo concluded by saying lawyers should address these points when selling their services to clients: "How can you help the client increase revenue, decrease expenses, decreasing risk and protecting the reputation of their business?"

Like this story? Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive Lawyers Weekly every day straight to your inbox.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Competitive pricing is about getting smarter, not cheaper
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Aug 21 2017
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Aug 21 2017
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...