A Midwestern law firm with a predominately insurance defense client base contacted Altman Weil to help the firm improve its economics and morale. Partner profits were dangerously low, several important clients and partners had recently defected and management was concerned that the firm could not absorb another setback. Many of the firm’s partners thought the firm’s only solution was to market itself to new clients for higher rates, even though few partners had experience with corporate litigation and fewer still had industry contacts.
Altman Weil responded quickly. Rather than radically change the firm’s practice, we helped re-invent the firm by focusing on doing what it did best—but doing it better and more profitably. First, we benchmarked its economic performance against comparable firms and established across-the-board rate increases, some as high as 50%. We surveyed clients and learned that service satisfaction was lower than average, based on quality and turnover of work product. In response, we helped the firm set up internal systems with direct accountability for quality, responsiveness and client satisfaction.
In just two years, the firm grew by 30%, profitability improved by 20% and there were no partner or client defections. In fact, client satisfaction went up dramatically and few if any clients complained about higher rates. Past issues are so well under control that the firm recently upgraded its facilities, technology and staff and successfully opened an office in a new market.