Risk Update

Marketing/BD Risk & Response — Client Guideline Trends (OCGs on Marketing Minds), Lateral Movement of Marketers/BD Makes News

Know Your Client: 3 Issues Facing In-house Counsel in 2023” —

  • “A 2022 survey by the Legal Value Network (LVN) highlighted a critical disconnect between law firms and the clients they serve: A strong majority (79%) of law firms said they made “strong efforts” to understand the challenges that law departments face, yet fewer than half of their clients agreed.”
  • “According to the LVN survey, 43% of clients said they have terminated a law firm or legal service provider for failing to follow their guidelines.”
  • “Cyber insurance is harder. When we say ‘harder,’ that’s exactly what we mean: harder to get, harder (more expensive) to pay for and harder to use. Many carriers are exiting the cyber insurance market; actual losses far exceeded early estimates, and the threat landscape keeps changing. The remaining carriers have substantially upgraded their underwriting process: if, two years ago, underwriting was a two-page questionnaire, it’s now a 15-page mini-audit plus external security scanning. Rates have also dramatically increased.”
  • “Everyone gets a regulation! Even just a few years ago, meaningful cybersecurity regulations only touched a few sectors of the U.S. economy… Because these privacy laws have far wider reach across industry sectors, their increasingly meaningful cybersecurity requirements likewise catch more companies… A few years ago, the majority of your clients likely had no cybersecurity regulatory requirement; not long from now, it will be a rare outlier client that doesn’t.”
  • “Over the past two years, the legal industry has come under increasing pressure to move the needle on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). Outside counsel, specifically large and mid-size law firms, will be held accountable. The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession’s recent 2022 report on diverse outside counsel portends a serious push among corporate departments to take decisive action.”

Marketing Team Exits Cooley for Fried Frank, Highlighting Competitive Landscape for Business Pros” —

  • “In a rare group move of law firm professionals, a marketing team at Cooley left for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in the last month, following a chief marketing officer who made the move in the last year.”
  • “In all, the lateral group includes six marketing and communications professionals who transferred between the two law firms. One law firm marketing expert said law firms in general could start seeing more business professional group moves such as this one, describing the team departure as a ‘harbinger of things to come’ in the industry.”
  • “[a source] said that there ‘is an added efficiency when teams join together—they can really hit the ground running as it removes some of the initial hurdles of learning new personalities and work styles.'”
  • “Robyn Addis, the chief marketing and business development officer at Legal Internet Solutions and a veteran of the law firm community, said that, depending on the team and the level of personnel, such a move could be as significant as a team of attorneys changing firms. ‘In my opinion, it has the potential to be as impactful as a group of lawyers moving,’ she said. ‘You are taking a strategic group, one that was working on the marketing strategy of a competitor. Really taking the brain trust of a department and moving it.'”
  • “Attorneys have long enjoyed the leverage of being able to pick up their practice group and move it to a competitor if they feel the practice would benefit from a different platform, or managing partner, or client base. The same cannot be said for business professionals at law firms. Although mobile, most of the moves are done individually, with perhaps a high-level leader bringing on a captain or two in the months after they make a move. Addis said that in her years in the legal profession, she has not seen many group moves by law firm business professionals, but this could be a new modus operandi for hiring groups of law firm staff.”