Partnering for Worldwide Value
Businesses worldwide have been forced to become more cost-effective and efficient in providing products and services. Although Squire Sanders has always emphasized quality, efficiency and alignment with client goals as core standards, now, more than ever, we are employing new processes, tools and creative approaches to maximize the value of our services. In providing these services, we emphasize Partnering for Worldwide Value®
Our Covenant With Clients: Challenging Ourselves
- Partnering: We understand that clients seek counsel eager to build and value partnering relationships. We pride ourselves on being your business partner, understanding your business and the associated risks and opportunities you face.
- Worldwide: We anticipated the global market for legal services, developing an integrated platform of talent and expertise expertise in offices around the world to serve our clients. Coupled with this geographic reach is our long-held tradition of thinking and acting as a “one-firm firm.” This combination leverages the unique advantages of each to deliver valuable expertise on a daily basis.
- Value: We recognize that now, as never before, you demand both quality and value. Our global business model – our strategic core – is intensely focused on the efficient delivery of consistent quality, and being valued advisers to you.
Some users of legal services have perceived a disconnect between their costs for outside legal services and the value of those services. More than a few initiatives are now addressing this issue. Among the most recognized is the ACC Value Challenge®
issued by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in September 2008. The ACC Value Challenge is designed to respond to this concern by promoting dialogue among corporate counsel, law firms and other parties with the intent to improve methodologies and tools used in delivering legal services. Our overall strategy, as well as our longstanding business practices, coincide with and supports the primary elements and goals of the ACC Value Challenge and similar initiatives. Accordingly, we wholeheartedly accept and endorse the ACC Value Challenge and have adopted our own Client Covenant
Enhancing Our Value Proposition
Our culture of collaboration, absence of separate profit centers, tradition of lean staffing, rates that compare very favorably with our peer firms, and openness to and experience with alternative fee structures that provide “win-win” opportunities for you and us are some of the factors underlying our covenant. Although proud of our existing practices and the value we deliver to clients, we recognize the need for continuous focus on our processes and use of technology and knowledge management to best deliver value as defined by our clients. Accordingly, we have established the Squire Sanders Value Partner TeamSM
The Squire Sanders Value Partner TeamSM (VPT)
The VPT consists of firmwide practice and office leadership, senior nonlawyer professionals and partners representing diverse geographic and substantive backgrounds.
The VPT identifies, encourages and manages the development and implementation of processes and tools arising from recommendations made by practices, offices, industry groups and our clients. Some of these value-enhancement initiatives include:
- Reviewing and improving client service processes, such as model transaction documents, standardized due diligence processes, Early Case Assessment Wizard, electronic budgeting and automated document assembly.
- Implementing the next generation of knowledge management and collaborative tools, such as client- and matter-specific intranet and extranet sites, subject-specific content sources and directed client communications on new issues and developments.
- Enhancing our client industry focus through increasingly active industry groups and client service teams comprised of practitioners from across practice groups and offices, focusing a significant amount of their work on specific industries and clients, and spending considerable non-chargeable time keeping themselves and our clients abreast of legal, business and regulatory issues impacting the industry.
- Implementing alternative fee structures tailored to specific needs and circumstances, based on well-developed guidelines and policies.
- Recognizing emerging service-delivery models, including the use of multiple law firms across a project, “virtual” law firms and contract attorneys, and outsourcing of certain tasks to nonlawyers. No matter the service-delivery model, we adhere to our culture of lean and appropriate overall staffing, believing it is one of the most important components of our value proposition.
The illustration below provides an example of how these tools align to support client value.
Our Values-Driven Culture
We believe that values drive value. Our goal is to provide high-quality, value-added legal services to you, wherever in the world you are located or operating. In so doing, we will continue to enhance our position as a leading global law firm. It is essential for us to operate as one firm – a firm that thinks and acts as a single unit unhampered by office- or practice-centric agendas. We will provide you with optimal service and expertise in every matter we handle. We can say this with such certainty and clarity because our structure, systems and culture do not provide incentives for our lawyers to behave in any other way. Our organization by global practices and industries, as well as our compensation structures, stress the best use of resources regardless of location or internal grouping. What’s best for you is best for all of us.
Attorney Development, Compensation and Billing
Some purchasers of legal services have objected, and rightly so, to footing the bill for a law firm’s development of its attorneys. We hear you. We were among the first global law firms to recognize the need for major changes in the profession’s approach to developing, compensating and billing for associates. One key result has been a break from seniority-based lockstep associate compensation. At Squire Sanders, associate advancement – and any adjustment of billing rates – occurs only upon attainment of certain practice-specific competencies.
Simply put, your perspective is of utmost importance to us. It is part of our firm culture to engage actively with clients to obtain their feedback and assess client satisfaction at every opportunity. We invite you to let us know your preference in sharing feedback, be it through formal, regularly scheduled meetings, ad hoc discussions throughout a given engagement or discussion with one of our firm leaders. We would like to hear from you and gain your feedback to the important initiatives and programs we have described.
If you should ever have questions or concerns about the services we provide that you would prefer not to communicate directly to your Squire Sanders relationship lawyer, please feel free to communicate, on a confidential basis, with our global chair, as follows:
James J. Maiwurm
Chair and Global CEO
1200 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Direct Dial: 202.626.6669