Client Service Report: New Zealand 2019

As part of the research process for asialaw Profiles we survey buyers of legal services for their feedback on:

  • Assessment and Rating of law firms and lawyers’ quality of service and work
  • Upcoming market trends

Here is a snapshot of the data for New Zealand:

Firm attributes

We ask clients to rate law firms on the following (from 1 poor to 5 excellent)

  • Costs transparency
  • Extensive local/international network
  • Industry sector knowledge
  • Technical ability and innovation
  • Use of technology
  • Value for money
  • Client relationship management
  • Risk management

 

Best firm by individual attribute

  • Costs transparency: Lowndes
  • Extensive local/international network: Webb Henderson
  • Industry sector knowledge: LangtonHudsonButcher
  • Technical ability and innovation: LangtonHudsonButcher
  • Use of technology: Webb Henderson
  • Value for money: Webb Henderson
  • Client relationship management: LangtonHudsonButcher, Lowndes (tie)
  • Risk management: Lowndes


Best overall firms by aggregate score

  • Webb Henderson
  • LangtonHudsonButcher
  • Lowndes
  • Anderson Lloyd
  • Buddle Findlay

 

General statistics

Highest rated law firm attribute: Overall client relationship management            

Lowest rated law firm attribute: Extensive local/international network

 

Lawyer attributes

We ask clients to rate lawyers based on the following attributes (from 1 poor to 5 excellent)

  • Communication
  • Commercial understanding
  • Country knowledge
  • Industry sector knowledge
  • Listening to and implementing feedback
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Responsiveness and accessibility
  • Technical ability

 

Best lawyers based on aggregate score

  • Stephen Langton, LangtonHudsonButcher
  • Paul Hartland, Lowndes
  • Geoff Busch, Anderson Lloyd
  • David Holden, Anderson Lloyd
  • Susan Rowe, Buddle Findlay


General statistics

Highest rated lawyer attribute: Responsiveness and accessibility

Lowest rated lawyer attribute: Industry sector knowledge

 

Market feedback

Topic that concerns clients most

Regulatory or governmental changes

How law firms can assist clients:

  • Aligning us with other similar industrial organisations to work with Government to create change
  • Lunches or dissemination of their publications
  • Web seminars, briefing meetings for clients
  • Understanding the potential implications of potential and actual regulatory change on corporate / M&A
  • Help with responding to changes and being proactive in how we deal with them
  • Proactively identify issues coming to market, think about the impact on our business and provide solutions & advice before asked
  • Getting across draft bills earlier and driving change before laws come to pass
  • Up to date information on employment bills before Parliament and the potential impact on business
  • Timely legislation and case law updates

 

Which practice area do they anticipate to give more work to external legal counsel in the next 12 months

Banking, Regulatory

Which practice area do they anticipate to give less work to legal counsel in the next 12 months

Construction, Investment funds

 

How can law firms improve their service to clients?

  • Add new resources (staff)
  • Adequately provides services required
  • Revise fee model to recognise volume and relationship.
  • Cost transparency on real estate and regulatory issues.
  • Greater transparency in regards to cost. Use experts for advice so that client is not perceived as paying twice, i.e. research of a junior or associate, then partner rates, for which the partner/senior associate may already have knowledge
  • Increase commerciality and innovation especially in relation to fees and billing
  • Keep responding quickly to enquiries
  • More bench depth for corporate transaction
  • More focus on identifying things that are likely to affect my sector, ie, tell me about the issues I need to be thinking about, don't wait for me to call you with a challenge
  • More realistic estimates of time frames
  • Place more of a focus on efficiency when confronted with an issue
  • Potentially work together more across the corporate and banking teams
  • Retain an in-depth interest in current government views with regard to the agriculture/irrigation in NZ
  • They do tend to have a number of junior lawyers on files in addition to senior associates and partners. This adds cost
  • Would be useful to have a better way of document sharing during negotiations