find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Lawyers told to ‘sweat the little things’

Lawyers told to ‘sweat the little things’

CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS took their rightful place in the limelight at the World Masters of Law Firm Management conference last week. Director and managing partner of McKinsey & Company’s…

CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS took their rightful place in the limelight at the World Masters of Law Firm Management conference last week.

Director and managing partner of McKinsey & Company’s Australian and New Zealand practices said it was important to build exceptional client relationships and not settle for average. In order to achieve this it was important that the practice be managed as a profession, not a business. “This allows you to build relationships over the long term that are truly based on trust,” he said.

Independence was crucial to that trust: “The moment a client believes you are no longer independent, you are lost”. Lewis said the ‘trust-based adviser’ was the pinnacle of all relationships, and was achieved at the point where the line between client and friendship begins to blur. But to move from needs-based to relationship-based to trust-based relationships took time and dedication.

He said it was essential to know which clients you want to build a relationship with, be proactive and ahead of the client’s agenda, and ‘add value’ for the client. It was also important to listen more than you think you should — clients often ‘speak between the lines’ — and remember that it is all about the client.

He added that lawyers should be honest; deliver a little bit extra; and sweat the little things — the difference between a Christmas card with an indecipherable name at the bottom and a personal letter of congratulations after a promotion or successful transaction was phenomenal. It was the personal touches that let the client know the relationship was important.

Lewis advised his audience to “be wary of those around you who are too busy to build relationships well”. He also outlined a strategy used by McKinsey & Company called the two-four-eight rule. “We expect our partners to be actively working on two engagements, negotiating four engagements and having eight discussions,” he said. That is monitored via weekly conference calls with the partners.

Canadian lawyer, author and management consultant, Gerry Riskin, focused on the importance of identifying your top clients and conducting ‘client care’ visits. These were not to be confused with selling visits, he said, and if a client raised a selling opportunity it was up to the lawyer to be disciplined and defer discussion to another time.

A client care visit should focus on trying to determine what the client’s unmet and latent needs were. Again, it was imperative to be proactive and determine what the client needed from the firm before the client did.

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

Lawyers told to ‘sweat the little things’
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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 & ...