Communication Key to Maintaining Client Relationships, Eppenauer Tells IP Watchdog

Shook Partner Bart Eppenauer told IP Watchdog “the legal industry needs to do a whole lot better” in developing and maintaining client relationships.

IP Watchdog invited Eppenauer along with Benjamin Brown, the assistant general counsel of  intellectual property for Analog Devices, Inc., to present the webinar “Attracting and Keeping Good Corporate Clients: Navigating the Relationship Between Inside and Outside Counsel,” January 10, 2019.

According to an American Bar Association study from 2012, “70 percent of in-house counsel would not recommend their primary outside counsel to others and 87 percent would replace their current firm if given a good reason.”

Beyond complacency, Eppenauer noted the second biggest factor in poor client relationships is communication.

“If complacency does set in over time, it is crucial to address it quickly and directly. It’s not enough to deliver quality work; go to your client and ask how things are going or you could find yourself on the way out,” Eppenauer stated during the webinar and reported in IP Watchdog.

Eppenauer leads the Seattle office of Shook and previously served as Microsoft’s chief patent counsel.