Do Top Law Firms Still Command a Premium During a Competitive RFP?

Top law firms command premium prices. That part isn’t surprising.

Does that premium hold when they’re invited to an RFP process with fixed-fee or value-based pricing?

And if so, how high does a firm need to be ranked to earn such a premium?

Answer: Top 50 firms have prices that are 5% higher at the end of a competitive RFP

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According to data from the PERSUIT platform, firms ranked in the top 50 of the Global 200 rankings have prices that are about 5% higher than firms ranked outside the top 50 when participating in RFPs.

Since a competitive RFP process often includes a price negotiation, we specifically looked at “final” price at the end of the RFP process rather than the initial price asked for in a firm’s first proposal. This gives us a much better sense of the true market price for legal services.

Interestingly, firms ranked 11-25 and 26-50 command similar premiums to those in the top 10, coming in at 5.3% and 5% higher than average, respectively.

When we get to firms ranked outside the Global 50, the prices begin to drop. 

Firms ranked 51-100 in the Global 200 have prices that are neither more or less expensive than their peers.

And firms ranked 101-200 have prices below the overall average, coming in at 4.5% lower than average.

Conclusion: Sometimes it’s worth it to engage a top firm

There are times when it is absolutely worth the cost to engage a top firm.

Keep in mind that 5% is merely the average premium top firms charge relative to their peers. Like any firm, there are situations when top firms discount their work — and also times when they charge significantly more — for speciality work, for example. 

Sometimes it’s worth hiring a top firm regardless of their premium. Top firms can charge what they do because they’ve earned a reputation for delivering results.

But you should expect to pay a premium for the reputation and experience of a top 50 firm.

If you found the data in this article helpful, check out our data benchmarking report for more: 5 Data Benchmarks to Use When Firms Ask: “How Can We Win More of Your Business?”

Lunch at the Waterfront


Jordan Weinstein