The subject of securing work from corporate clients is the subject of numerous blogs and plenty of discussion. However, what seems to get lost in the never ending desire to grow your practice and your business is maintaining and developing the relationships you have with existing clients. This especially true when you add up the pressures of securing good results, establishing healthy relationships with the people who are responsible for the matters you have been entrusted with and providing all of that within the confines of the budgetary concerns of your client. This is especially true in a day and age when being a good litigator is not enough to create a successful practice and the competition for quality work is extreme.
Having the opportunity to work with numerous in-house attorneys in a broad spectrum of business, I took the time contact some of the people I have been fortunate enough to work with over the course of my career. After getting past the basic elements of competency, communication and budgetary issues, the constant theme I heard from in-house counsel was honesty and integrity. The need for honesty and integrity crossed every possible area of interaction with in-house counsel, including billing, reporting, communicating about case status and deadlines. One of my clients made a fantastic point “treat people like you want to be treated.” In other words, are you in this relationship for the immediate benefit or to develop and maintain a strong relationship which will provide long term benefits to both you and your clients. A relationship based on honesty and integrity will build the latter, and not the former.