BTI’s Methodology and Approach
100% Driven by Clients
The BTI Client Service A-Team evaluates individual law firm performance through the eyes of the client. No law firms influence the results, submit nominations or provide client names. The research is independent and unbiased. Solely the clientthe most important judge of client servicedecides which law firms are best at the 17 activities driving superior client relationships.
This fact-based, comprehensive analysis draws on more than 3,400 client interviews conducted over the span of 12 years. This year’s analysis relies on more than 240 independent, one-on-one interviews with corporate counsel to delineate—by name and rank—precisely how more than 332 law firms perform along the 17 activities driving superior client relationships.
The only way to earn a score in this ranking is to be recognized, unprompted, by one of your firm’s clients as delivering client service excellence.
Scoring Law Firms in The BTI Client Service A-Team
BTI’s scoring system relies on 3 key variables:
- How important each of the 17 activities is to clients in their relationships with law firms
- How difficult it is for clients to find law firms that perform well on each activity
- Candid, verbatim feedback from clients as to which law firm stands out as best in each of the 17 activities driving client relationships
Three Types of Honors
Nominated firms receive one of three honors:
Best of the Best: The highest level of achievement based upon a firm's unparalleled performance in client service. These firms perform at a higher level than all others.
Leaders of the Best: The second highest level of achievement designating the firm's leadership status in client service. These firms are performing better than most.
Honor Roll of the Best: The third highest level of achievement indicating an honorable mention in client service.
The 17 Activities Driving Superior Relationships
General Counsel and C-level executives define 17 activities they use to select and evaluate outside counsel. BTI asks corporate counsel to delineate, by name, the law firm best at each of the 17 activities driving superior client relationships.
4 Activities Deliver Superior Financial Rewards
Commitment to Help
Understands the Client’s Business
Provides Value for the Dollar
6 Activities Are the Price of Admission
Keeps the Client Informed
Deals with Unexpected Changes
Meets Core Scope
5 Activities Bolster the Case for Client Loyalty
Breadth of Services
Helps Advise on Business Issues
Brings Together National Resources
2 Activities Boost Business Development with Clients
Anticipates the Client’s Needs
The Clients We Interview
BTI conducted independent, one-on-one interviews between March 22, 2012 and September 12, 2012. Each year, BTI's study includes between 50% and 55% of companies participating in prior years. This approach provides for accurate analysis of longitudinal trends while simultaneously allowing for insights into new, changing and up-and-coming opportunities and firms. This year's interviews represent:
Top spending companies
55.7% of interviews with Global 500 and Fortune 1000 companies
Average revenue of $16.6 billion
Median revenue of $6.1 billion
Average outside counsel spending of $19.8 million annually—and up to $200 million-plus
More than 15 industries, including:
Top legal executives
53.3% of interviews with General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers
37.1% of interviews with direct reports to General Counsel