Here's a fascinating and informative exchange between two experts in the field: "Intapp In Conversation – Focus on: The Business of Risk" --
Anthony Davis, partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson (known as the lawyers' lawyers) sits down with Pat Archbold, head of Intapp's risk practice group to discuss market trends.
Anthony shares several observations (coupled with practical advice and steps firms can take to improve business intake, reduce risk, and improve firm financial performance).
- The changing legal business climate
- Improving client evaluation and engagement to boost firm financial performance
- Navigating growth tied to laterals and mergers
- Changing internal perceptions of the role of risk management
- Shifting priorities and staffing models
- The role of engagement letters and fee agreements
- Malpractice trends and insights
- Pat: To what extent are law firm general counsel considering broader factors than just ethical risk, including accounts receivable, when overseeing new client intake?
- Anthony: General counsel have traditionally not been responsible for evaluating the whole issue of financial suitability. They've left it to the billing department to decide what billing standards to set, and traditionally general counsel did not see it as their role to look at the prospective client’s ability to pay as part of their role in managing intake.
- Although this is new to them, they are starting to realize that these are issues – risks – that have to be addressed. And the question then is: Is it their domain? Is it their constituency? Or is it somebody else in the firm who should be making those determinations?
- Because certainly general counsel are seeing the problem at the other end. Until recently, they often failed to see the connection between intake and fee suits until too late. When confronted with collection problems, they certainly say, "Why on earth did we take this client on?" but they didn't traditionally impose standards at the front end, because if they tried to, they were likely told by the business people and management: "Stay out of that, that's our problem." Except that it does become their problem at the end.
And those firms looking for more advice (and potentially assistance) from Anthony and his colleagues are encouraged to reach out directly.