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Every law firm needs to know who else is representing their clients and hottest prospects. The following five competitive intelligence tools make it easier than ever to find out. None of the tools is 100 percent comprehensive or 100 percent accurate, not even the “for pay” databases. However, they keep us from having to pore over individual filing documents and search individual law firm websites.
1. Thomson Reuters’ Monitor Suite. This searchable database contains information about which law firms and lawyers represent which clients by matter type. The Monitor Suite has three modules that describe representations involving litigation, deals and intellectual property. It delivers results in tabular and graphic output formatted as reports. The tool’s power-users go beyond canned reports to address key intelligence topics (KITs) like emerging competitors, law firm merger candidates, industries’ changing legal needs and other actionable law firm KITs. Pricing is subscription-based.
2. Corporate Counsel’s Corporate Representation (Who Counsels Who). Every September, ALM’s Corporate Counsel magazine publishes Who Counsels Who, based on information gleaned from ALM surveys and publications, plus public records about public and private corporations. The representations include general corporate, litigation, IP, labor and employment, IPO filings, patent prosecutions, private equity deals, etc. Results are extensive, but not comprehensive. The product is updated monthly. Pricing is $1,499, or included in the price of an annual ALM Legal Intelligence research subscription.
3. LexisNexis’s Knowledge Mosaic. For public companies, Knowledge Mosaic offers a searchable database under the header “Law Firm Relationships.” Representation is limited to corporate work, as the database tracks firms that handle specific SEC filings for a given company (updated daily). In addition to searches on company filers, users can further leverage the site by searching on competitors or industries with additional filtering by state. Pricing is subscription-based.
4. Fee Fie Foe Firm. The free Fee Fie Foe Firm website leverages Google-power to search only law firm websites. Created by Australian Damien MacRae, it is a law firm CI favorite. It’s easy to use Google’s searching protocols to search firm websites. You can choose from among eight country jurisdictions and 10 time limiters (ranging from “last 24 hours” to “last five years”). Obviously, a search for “represented JPMorgan” will also produce false negatives and false positives and miss many representations, but it’s a good starting point to address big-picture issues and questions.
5. Chambers and Partners. Chambers and Partners editorials are another good, albeit somewhat limited, source for law firm CI. Using your search engine of choice, you can search the terms “Chambers and Partners” and the name of your prospect to yield any relevant Chambers editorials. The usual caveats apply.
Ann Lee Gibson, Ph.D., is principal of Ann Lee Gibson Consulting, consulting with law firms on business development and competitive intelligence issues and projects.
Amy Quintard is Business Development and Marketing Manager at Bryan Cave, working in the area of business development.
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