Why high client churn rates are an opportunity for focused firms


The recent results of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) survey of corporate law firm clients makes for interesting reading. One surprising fact is the high rate of clients leaving law firms.

According to the survey, in 2017, 34% of respondents said that they had terminated a law firm relationship for failing to meet expectations. 

This high rate of client churn is of course alarming, but at the same time it represents an opportunity for firms focused on delivering what their clients want. According to ACC Asia Pacific Managing Director, Tanya Khan:

"Interestingly, the importance of the provider being a known entity has declined in recent years." 

This represents an opportunity for a focused provider, who is:

  1. More obsessed with client satisfaction than their own brand
  2. Busy actively engaged in talking to their clients about what they want rather than producing press releases of past successes, and
  3. Has institutionalised a process to regularly check-in with clients to measure and track how they are actually doing rather than simply relying on how they think they are doing. 

When it comes to client satisfaction there is only one opinion that matters and, as we all know, it isn't the lawyers. Complacency and an expectation that the client will simply hang around, based on the ACC data at least, clearly is no longer going to be enough to deliver sustainable growth into the future. 



Greg Tilse