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Podcast: Law firms should leverage their ESG offerings & strengthen client relationships, says new report

Thomson Reuters Institute  Insights, Thought Leadership & Engagement

· 5 minute read

Thomson Reuters Institute  Insights, Thought Leadership & Engagement

· 5 minute read

In our latest podcast, we discuss the Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance report, including how law firms can improve their client offerings and relationships

Conversations around organizations’ responsibility toward environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues seems to be everywhere these days — and it is no different in the legal sector. Today, lawyers are grappling to incorporate these principles into their practices and better serve their corporate clients.

In a new podcast, we discuss the recently released Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance report. The report itself summarizes the key findings of the Thomson Reuters Skills and Progression 2021 Mid-year Survey which includes a broader discussion of ESG.

The wider research over recent years has identified a subset of core law firm competencies which are of increasing importance to corporate clients, including specialist expertise; business acumen; client service; technological innovation, and pricing flexibility. The purpose of the survey is to deliver detailed insights for law firms on key topics which feed into these areas of competence.

You can listen to the full podcast about the just-released Stellar Performance Report here. And you can download a copy of the report here.

According to the survey, these insights include:

      • Lawyer roles and responsibilities and how those may need to change.
      • The impact of technology investment within law firms.
      • Opportunities for firms to better leverage their ESG service offerings.
      • How firms can improve the effectiveness of the partnership between the law firm and the client.

While all these insights are critical for law firms to understand and address, the last one — improving the effectiveness of the law firm/client relationship — is especially important because while it contains mutual responsibilities for both parties, it also offers mutual benefits when the relationship goes well. Indeed, both parties need to raise their games and understand that meaningful improvement in each area requires collaboration and mutual support.

Jen Dezso

The report put forward a range of suggestions for law firms seeking to improve the effectiveness of how they work with clients.

In our latest podcast, available on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel, Gina Jurva, attorney and manager of market insights and thought leadership content for corporate and government at the Thomson Reuters Institute, speaks with Jen Dezo, Director of Client Relations at Thomson Reuters Market Insights and Thought Leadership. Her team complied the responses to the survey and produced the report.

The pair discuss two key areas from the report: law firms ability to improve their ESG offerings and how firms can also improve the law firm/client relationship. Specifically, the discussion delves into how lawyers around the world recognize the increasing importance of ESG issues to their clients, but struggle with what that means in practice and how to best advise their clients. Another important facet discussed is the opportunities identified in the report to strengthen the law firm/client partnership in three connected areas: pricing, scope of work, and project management.

Episode transcript.