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MOST CLIENTS STICK BY FIRMS To the editor: An otherwise terrific discussion about branding, Michael Wiley’s article [" Deliver on Your Promise," Sept. 15, 2003, Page 22] unfortunately notes Regis McKenna’s comments that “clients are disloyal and brands ephemeral” and claims that “recent annual surveys show that a majority of general counsel intended to fire their outside firms.” The statements are dramatic � but not true. And the “surveys” to which Wiley refers (I won’t name the source) are more than flawed. We’ve conducted surveys for over 20 years in the legal field. They consistently report greater client loyalty than in any other industry. Look at any law firm’s top clients and you’ll find the vast majority of their business next year will come from this year’s clients. Unlike many corporate relationships that come and go in a much more volatile way, law firms are rarely “fired” by their clients. The common scenario is one in which a relationship fades away over a number of years, with a company dissatisfied with its outside counsel gradually giving the firm less and less work. Instead of spending valuable time worrying whether they may be “fired” tomorrow, we recommend that law firms use their energies to discover why once valuable clients are sending them less work and to learn if the firm’s practices adequately reflect what its best clients need. Mark Greene, Ph.D. Managing Director The Brand Research Co. Washington, D.C.

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