Monday, August 28, 2006

RFP's; What is That All About!?

My firm is responding to yet another RFP... not my favorite thing. I did go to the attorney that received it and asked all the right questions. Do we know these folks? Is there any reason to believe we are more than a finger pointing at a list? Is there any good reason to waste resources on preparing a response?

Fortunately his answers were yes to all. We'd done some good work for this company with really good results (like, in the millions). So... respond to an RFP; I'm on it.

My question though about companies that use RFPs. WHY?? This particular company is pretty big with a large internal legal department handling matters and issues all over the country. The only reason I can think of that such a successful company would want to go through the RFP process is:

  1. They have a new General Counsel who wants a thorough recap on anyone touching his/her legal matters.
  2. They have a new General Counsel that wants to cull the herd of counsel touching his/her legal matters.
  3. They have a General Counsel that has been handed an edict on cutting costs.
  4. They have fallen into the snare of a professional services firm that derives billable hours through "best practices" programs.
  5. They have a sincere interest in developing solid relationships with law firms they truly trust to handle their matters.

Because of our recent success handling their work I am optimistic and will go with reason number five; and am really happy to do so. But if you are a GC enforcing an RFP process for any of the other four reasons... Stop it, RIGHT NOW! Taking the attention of your attorneys away from actually solving and handling your legal matters is just not right.

RFPs are overrated and you deserve better.