Law firms: here are the 9 preferred by in house professionals

There is no better source of inbound leads than the unsolicited recommendation from one top legal decision maker to another. And they all recommend firms — more often informally than not. This is how the unsolicited law firm recommendation travels. That’s how the BTI Most Recommended Law Firms Report 2022 published last November, 30th, starts.

The study, conducted between March and September, involved 340 general counsel and other in-house legal officials from companies with $700 million or more in revenue who identified a total of 113 law firms ranked as either “most,” “highly” or “frequently” recommended.

According to the report, 70% of the respondents cited superior client service as their reason for making an unsolicited law firm recommendation — 3.5 times more often than any other single factor. Additionally, 40% of these top in-house legal officials included a firm’s ability to understand their business as a key component of client service, the report said. It noted that clients had learned that law firms with the skill to quickly assess business risk can attain a better outcome.

In details, 9 law firms stand out from the crowd as the “most” recommended by in house corporate leaders. The nine law firms that stood out above the rest are, in alphabetical order, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins LLP, Littler Mendelson PC, McGuireWoods LLP, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, Reed Smith LLP and Ropes & Gray.

Among the most recommended, only five — Gibson Dunn, Jones Day, Latham, Littler and McGuireWoods — were also mentioned in the top rank of the 2021 report, where the most reccomended law firms by in-house leader were a total amount of 11.

According to Michael Rynowecer, president of BTI Consulting, several reasons have led to the swap of the top law firms, including high turnover in law firms and corporate counsel offices, firms running at high capacity, and clients’ expectations changing as a result of changing geopolitical and economic climates.

“So, when you take the turnover in both law firms and client offices, the changing regulations and the change in client expectations, you’ve got a lot of room to step up and really earn recommendation and show how well you can do,” Rynowecer said.

Due to the international economic crisis, Rynowecer added he expects clients to look for more counseling services on their portfolio instead of mitigating work.

“There’s a real thirst for learning on how to handle the new [situations], learning what to expect, what else is going to be coming down the pike,” he said. “And that hasn’t been as prevalent in prior years as it is right now.”