Value is about more than price. Value is qualitative as well as quantitative. It is the “worth of something when compared to the price paid or asked for it.”
Most of us are willing to spend time and energy to find value. Why? Because while we don’t want to overpay for something, experience has made us painfully aware that just because something is less expensive doesn’t mean that it is a value. You get what you pay for.
Determining value is hard enough when we’re shopping for goods. It is harder when we’re selecting services—and harder still when selecting professional services like choosing which litigation firm will represent you or your business partners or clients.
From any client’s standpoint, litigation related expenses are simply negative cash flow. This can create tension between lawyer and client because lawyers have a financial incentive to generate more expenses while clients have a competing financial incentive to minimize expenses.
This dynamic has led clients who handle litigation as a business, like insurers, to: (1) institute billing and litigation management guidelines; and (2) utilize a limited number of “panel” counsel to a handle large volume of cases pursuant to these billing and litigation management guidelines. Such practices are designed to control litigation related expenses while still providing excellent legal representation to clients and their insureds through lawyers that have established relationships with the payers.
At CRUG, years of experience have taught us that there must be more than adherence to billing and litigation management guidelines to effectively manage litigation related expenses. Our lawyers partner with our clients to directly address a foundational element of litigation-related expenses—such expenses must be value based. There must be a concerted and systematic effort by lawyer and client alike to: quickly identify litigation drivers; formulate strategies and tactics to mitigate or neutralize those drivers; effectively implement such strategies and tactics to favorably resolve (or avoid) litigation as soon as possible and to repeat this process on an ongoing basis. This type of enhanced relationship requires a degree of familiarity, trust and execution beyond simple compliance with guidelines in a single case
We have created the culture and business practices to add value to cases over and over. Repeatability is vital to value—both temporally and geographically.
From a temporal standpoint, our clients know that we can and will execute this approach on a consistent basis so that the expensive, time-consuming process of vetting new panel counsel or hiring scores of in-house lawyers can be minimized. This means that our lawyers: operate with maximum proficiency in their practice areas; are supported by a work force of a size that permits for continuity, including legacy planning, various levels of responsibility and appropriate teamwork; utilize technology and other resources to maximize efficiency; and are subject to metrics-based evaluation to verify added value.
From a geographic standpoint, our clients know that we provide stable, high-quality legal representation throughout Ohio. A client that manages litigation in Cleveland may manage litigation in Cincinnati as well. CRUG provides our clients with the ability to utilize a single, geographically diverse firm of lawyers with a proven track record of performance which provides greater value than maintaining multiple law firms in multiple regions simply to have a “local” presence.
In the end, the reward for our clients is value-added service. Litigation related expenses that do not add value are minimized or eliminated, and those that add value are systemized and repeated in order to create efficiency and a better experience for clients and their business partners. The reward for our lawyers is obvious–a deeper level of trust from our clients which translates into deeper relationships and increased business.
Not sure how it all works? Be your own judge. We invite you to experience the difference.