The Evolution of Competitive Intelligence in Law Firms

Law firm competitive intelligence (CI) is not new. Approximately half of the law firms participating in this study have had resources dedicated to CI for five or more years. This report, however, reveals there is significant work to be done to build CI capabilities to keep pace with the competitive and dynamic industry law has become.

Key findings from our CI research include:

  • 82% of firms interviewed have headcount dedicated to CI but only 52% have a formal CI function
  • 1 in 3 firms (37%) plan to increase the size of their CI group in the coming year
  • 3 in 4 firms (76%) plan to make changes to CI in the next 12 months. With the most common change expected to be the review and consolidation of tools and resources
  • Leaders rate the effectiveness of their current CI resources just 6.4 out of 10. Furthermore only 8% consider their CI function to be highly effective in helping the firm make better, more informed decisions
  • 80% of law firms’ CI departments are more reactive than proactive, and more tactical than strategic

Competitive intelligence has come a long way since the concept was first introduced to law firms in the early 90’s. The industry’s progression, though, is slow – if not stunted. Interest in and demand for data is heightened in today’s legal environment, yet delivery of valuable data-driven insights is not.

The good news is, in addition to shedding light on what law firms are struggling with, the feedback and responses we have generated provide some clear indications as to how to bring CI to a higher level and drive greater value. To discover more you can download a complimentary summary report here.


Thank you to the 123 leaders and professionals who participated from 85 law firms across the US, Canada and the UK including: 


Andrews Kurth Dickinson Wright Lewis Roca  
Akin Gump   Duane Morris McCarter & English
Allen Matkins   Fisher & Phillips McCarthy Tétrault
BakerHostetler Fox Rothschild Mintz Levin
Baker Botts Fried Frank MoFo
Baker McKenzie Goodwin Procter Nixon Peabody
Baker Donelson   Haynes and Boone Pillsbury  
Bennett Jones Herbert Smith Freehills Proskauer
Blank Rome Hogan Lovells Shearman & Sterling
Bryan Cave Hunton & Williams Sheppard Mullin
Buchanan Ingersoll Ice Miller Stinson Leonard Street
Carlton Fields Jackson Lewis Steptoe & Johnson
Choate Hall & Stewart Jackson Walker Thompson Hine
CMS K&L Gates Vinson & Elkins
Davies Ward   Katten Muchin White & Case
Dechert Kilpatrick Townsend   Winstead
Dentons Kramer Levin Winston & Straw





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