David Geyer, Director of Marketing of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP was one of the panelists that spoke at the LMA Bay Area Program held at the Practicing Law Institute in San Francisco on June 25, 2001. He referred to the recently released BTI Consulting Group report ( which reveals that less than 25% of Fortune 1000 companies are satisfied with their outside legal counsel.

They analyzed the strategic market performance of more than 100 law firms over a three-year period. The mid-size firms were doing extraordinarily well and taking away billing and revenue from the very large firms. What’s more, 42% of Fortune 1000 clients saw smaller and medium sized firms with a quantifiable client service advantage.Large firms will be at a disadvantage until they adopt and embrace client-focused strategies.

Geyer reminded the audience that now is the time to reposition and promote the firm along its strengths, and to become students of their clients’ businesses. “Build deeper relationships, offer just-in-time service, and build tour knowledge base. The first ones to do this win,” he reminded. Please consider the following case study for Brobeck, a law firm that has made marketing a top priority.

  • Firm revenues increased from $250 million in 1998 to $476 million in 2000.
  • Profits per partner increased 44% in 1999 were up another 56% in 2000, to $1.2 million in profits per partner.
  • The firm grew from 550 to 950 lawyers in two years.
  • An American Lawyer survey among the nation’s top 50 technology companies ranked Brobeck #1. This is exactly what the firm was aiming at.
  • Fortune rated Brobeck one of the top 100 companies to work for.
  • The firm began running a $3.5 million TV ad campaign on CNN in January 2001 (that’s $2.2 million on network time, $1.3 producing the ad).
  • The marketing budget is 1.5% of revenues (including salaries and marketing activities). The budget will grow to 1.7% of revenues in 2001 because of the advertising campaign.
  • The firm changed its name from “Brobeck Phleger & Harrison” to just “Brobeck.”
  • Brobeck adopted a tagline or “signature statement”: “Brobeck. When your future is at stake.”
  • David Geyer has a marketing staff of 25 people.
  • The marketing department doesn’t have to fuss with dispensing tickets for client entertainment or filling tables at charity events.