Competitive intelligence has long been a standard practice in industry and in consulting firms, but has only recently begun to come to the fore in private law firms. A variety of business drivers have led numerous law firms to create dedicated CI job positions during the past couple of years.

Law firms’ ways of doing business are changing and are becoming more like a corporation’s. Increased competition for high-end work, consolidation among firms, clients’ reductions of their legal panels and the cost-reduction initiatives of general counsel — such as moving legal business in-house — are all driving the growing need for competitive and market intelligence. Firms are also increasingly focusing on client retention, cross-selling opportunities and growth via lateral hires and acquisition opportunities, all of which require business and market intelligence.

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