Andrew Magowan is one of 2,500 of your potential clients who talk to Acritas every year about the support they need from law firms – now and in the future. Now in its sixth year, Sharplegal has interviewed more than 11,000 leading general counsel from around the world.
In May 2012, Andrew agreed to front an advertising campaign for Acritas’ Sharplegal – the world’s most comprehensive study of the global legal market. At the photoshoot, we caught up with him to find out why he takes part in Sharplegal and to learn what he thinks law firms could do to improve their service.
Why do you take part in Sharplegal?
I took part in the Sharplegal surveys really because of the number of changes that have happened in the in-house industry and the number of changes I am finding through the businesses that I work for. I think the more opportunity that I have to convey the challenges that I am facing, the problems that are coming up and what I need from our important service providers, it is incumbent on me to take as many of those opportunities as I can to make sure that my legal spend is as effective as possible.
How could law firms improve their service offering?
The main suggestion I would make to law firms is to actually look at your client base and take a fresh approach to how you divide them up.
From an in-house legal perspective we are not really hired for our industry knowledge and therefore approaching clients on an industry specific basis, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. There are obviously some exceptions to that like financial services, but generally it is actually our business type and the type of challenges that we face that is more important and that drives the kind of legal support that I need from law firms.
So to some extent I would be looking at what does the company have, what kind of legal department do they have and how do I fit my resources around that. Rather than applying a ‘one size fits all’ to all in-house clients.
What one thing could law firms do differently to help you and your organization?
So a good example of that would be the training sessions and seminars which are hugely valuable to in-house lawyers, and not just from the CPD perspective, they are where we find out a lot of what is going on. However, they are always pitched at a generic client base. So I end up sitting in a room with a bunch of other lawyers who frankly don’t face the same challenges that I do.
I think taking those seminars and starting to tailor them to different client types. I think you will find that they increase the effectiveness for myself and also increase the effectiveness for the law firms in terms of the feedback they get and the engagement that they get form the people who attend those seminars.