In an ultra-competitive market, client service delivery is a decisive factor for buyers of legal services in choosing which leading law firm and lawyers to instruct.
For the asialaw Profiles 2021 edition client survey, R. Govin at Gurbani & Co. received consistent positive feedback for delivering high-quality service in Insurance and Shipping.
R. Govin at Gurbani & Co. shares the firm's success at delivering client service excellence with asialaw.
How does your firm add value to your clients?
As a client-centric law firm, we create the added value by:
(i) understanding clients and focusing clients’ needs through the vision of our clients and how our services will benefit them;
(ii) striving consistently to improve clients’ satisfaction; and
(iii) putting in the extra effort to go the extra mile to help clients develop a memorable client experience which set ourselves apart from the competition.
What is the key to maintaining long term client relationships?
To build a relationship with clients to create clients’ loyalty and to strengthen relationships with clients, we go above and beyond the call of duty to produce stellar quality in our work; keep quality consistent; and strengthen our customer service by hiring employees who prioritize attending to our clients.
Additionally, we bring up legal fees early on with our potential clients because we believe that addressing legal fees upfront indicates to our potential clients that we are very keen to be equal partners with our clients not only as to providing our legal services to them but also as to assisting our clients to achieve objectives of their legal expenses.
What internal training services do you provide to your lawyers to ensure they maintain high standards?
As we aim to maximize job satisfaction and performance levels of all our employees (i.e lawyers and legal support staff) we practise direct mentorship in our firm to ensure that all employees are competent to perform their tasks that they are responsible for.
Mentors help to guide mentees on all aspects of professional development whether that be talking through types of experiences and skills learned on different cases, giving background on the client perspective and/or learning how to juggle multiple cases. Mentoring unfolds naturally at all stages of a lawyer’s career. Our firm provides dedicated mentors, across different levels of seniority, to help lawyers with integration, growth, and development.
We care about their development and provide ongoing professional training, both department specific and general skill development which involves shadowing senior lawyers, hearing him or her provide insight on a new aspect of the law to hone their skills.
We also practise a complete open-door policy at every level which promotes transparency, productivity, and faster communication.
What do you think differentiates your firm’s services from your peers?
As we practise four (4) A(s) – Affability, Availability, Ability, and Affordability, our legal advice is delivered on time, on budget and on point. There are several key points that differentiates our legal firm’s services such as understanding our clients’ needs, knowledge and expertise, being accessible, and good communication. Our prime concern is to place the interests of our clients first and we work together on finding solutions to the challenges they encounter.
Has your firm implemented technology to meet your clients’ needs? If so, what did you introduce?
Technology is important and it touches on every aspect of our daily interactions, especially at work which helps us perform and excel at our jobs. We invest significantly in technology and create our own software for document and process management. We have an in-house development team and produce applications for internal and client use. We have also invested in secure mobile working solutions and most of our lawyers spend part of the week working from home. We ensure that our firm IT system is up-to-date which enables us to get the job done effectively and efficiently and to be in contact with our colleagues or clients at any time and no matter where in the world we are.
How do you ensure you stay relevant to your clients?
We stay relevant to our clients by:
(i) listening to our clients;
(ii) understanding their needs; and
(iii) executing brilliantly.
Are there any changes you are considering implementing in the near future to better serve your clients?
In order to strengthen communication and interaction with our clients, we keep abreast of technology trends. Our priority is to ensure that our services to clients remain high quality, high-touch and high-tech and needless to say, provide value for money.
How do you manage the costs and budgets of your clients?
Although hourly billing has been the dominant financial model for the legal profession, we adopt Alternative Fee Arrangements (“AFA”) namely:
(i) Fixed or Flat Fee (i.e the client is charged for a pre-defined service at a fixed or flat rate);
(ii) Capped Fee (i.e this arrangement uses a ceiling for all fees for a particular matter and under this arrangement, we charge an agreed hourly rate for the time required to complete the matter but may not exceed the ceiling in the total fees for services provided);
(iii) Retrospective Fee Based on Value (i.e this consensual method is determined collaboratively between the lawyer and the client, and should set forth the factors to be considered in setting the final fee);
(iv) Relative Value Method (i.e this method involves creating schedules that separate the lawyer’s services by subject matter and by task, and assigning a “relative value” or multiplier to each. Each fee charger can be assigned a different basic rate or charge, which is then factored into the equation); and
(v) Task-Based Billing (i.e this method is designed to report the cost of legal services by identified tasks rather than by the chronological approach which the law firm is familiar with. Under a task-based billing arrangement, law firms report their time used in billing codes, which describes particular tasks. The lawyer is requested to provide a budget in advance of performing the particular task and may not (without prior agreement) exceed the budget).
The suitability of AFA depends on the clients and matter at hand.
What different payment models or schemes do you offer (eg. Hourly basis, project basis, etc.).
The same as above.
How does your firm allocate staffing resources for your client’s work in terms of seniority and/or budget to meet the client’s needs?
Allocation of the cases/work to senior or junior lawyers depends on the nature and complexity of the cases. As our priority is to ensure that our services to the clients remain of high quality, all cases/work will be reviewed by the Directors/senior lawyers of our firm.
Where does your firm or lawyers demonstrate leadership thinking or insight pieces to show its on top of legal and business updates?
We are committed to helping our clients stay ahead of legal trends, and we provide seminars and talks to our clients and public.
Please visit the links below to see our firm profile and our clients’ feedback:
Please see the testimonials from our clients Zhejiang Hydropower Construction and Installation Co. Ltd and Crane World Asia PTE Ltd.
How does a firm handle conflicts (like work conflicts, between clients)?
As stated in our Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP”), we use conflict check software to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest before taking on a new case.
R. Govin, Managing Director
Gurbani & Co.'s rankings and leading lawyers list can be viewed here.