A very good point is made here by David Levine, Americas head of litigation and regulatory enforcement at Deutsche Bank.
When working as an in-house lawyer I've held quite a few "beauty parades" where BigLaw firms have given presentations and pitched for business. It's surprisingly common that a firm cannot answer the question why we should have used them rather than another firm. Law firms do need to get this right!
I'll give these small tips though - I've always ended up appointing the firm that gave the most passionate and most enthusiastic pitch, that seemed hungriest for the work and whose people came across as the ones we'd most enjoy working with.
Levine advised that any law firm that wants to take on his company as a new client first needs to set out the reasons why he should make a change to his existing law firm roster. “In litigation, Deutsche Bank and all major corporations have longstanding relationships with firms that have a proven track record and have gotten us positive results. Why would we veer away to new firms?” He said he finds it “surprising that law firms still resort to textbook ‘meet and greets’ with no unique sales pitch.” His first question at law firm sales pitches is always why should he think of your firm when a new matter arises rather than use his current firms. “You would be surprised at the difficulty firms have answering this question,” said Levine.