All clients want to be:

1. Treated like a person and respectfully.

2. Listened to and heard.

3. Asked their opinion/what they think.

4. Informed ahead of time.

5. Responded to promptly.

6. Cared about.

7. Given options and choices whenever possible.

8. Educated, they want to learn something new, different or something they did not already know.

9. Made to feel a bit more comfortable and secure, so their confidence increases.

10. Told up front exactly (within a 10% variance max) how much they will be paying in total and not billed more than that.

CEOs, CFOs, general and in-house counsel, procurement professionals, and legal operations officers want:

11. As much certainty, predictability, accuracy, transparency and cost control as is possible for any given legal matter(s)/case(s). 

12. For outside lawyers and providers to invest more non-billable time to understand their business and how they – as clients – define value overall and for specific matter(s)/case(s). 

13. Accurate, realistic and adhered to budgets (client prefer flat and fixed fees where – at the end of the matter/case – they are billed the exact amount agreed to at retention). 

14. Lawyers and providers to initiate offering them more alternative fee arrangement (AFAs) options, especially any AFAs that will give them as much cost and budget certainty as is possible and are win-wins. 

15. Actual compliance with their Outside Counsel (and/or Procurement) Guidelines (OCGs). 

16. More detailed, accurate and timely invoices and bills. 

17. More proactive, outside lawyer or law firm-initiated value-added suggestions and communications.

Two related articles can be found at these links: