Business Law Blog

Big Law vs. Boutique Law: What Every Growing Business Choosing Legal Counsel Should Know

Posted by Amanda Butler Schley | Sep 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

I got a call from a client last week. She uses Business Law Group for her day to day business needs, but her investors use a large national law firm.  Her business is responsible for its own legal bills along with the legal bills of their commercial lender, who also uses another Big Law firm. 

I used to work at one of these Big Law firms myself.  I know how they operate - and I'm not here to downplay their attributes.  They deliver sophisticated legal advice and can handle complex legal issues with lightning speed and can dispatch 5 associates (most of whom don't know what they are doing) to deal with your crisis on a moment's notice.

Allow me make an analogy:  Big Law is the emergency room of a hospital, whereas Boutique Law is your family practitioner.  Big Law is where you should turn in an epic legal crisis.  But if you are in a legal crisis - that means you've made a mistake handling the day to day legal issues of your business.  You have either not been proactive in maintaining your business' legal health by regularly checking in with your Boutique Law practitioner, or you have made a wrong turn somewhere and smashed right into a legal crisis (lawsuit, audit, etc...)

What's the problem then with Big Law? Mostly it's the legal bills.  That same client I spoke with mentioned the bill she received was for $180K and this was after their commercial lender sent its legal bills for about the same amount.  On my advice, she asked for a discount because the bill included aged receivables (older than 60 days), and the Big Law firm discounted the bill by 20%.  But that's more than one year's worth of legal bills from our firm for that same client.  In her case, there's really no way to get around the Big Law bills.  She's doing everything she can to blend the legal work to make her investors and lender happy.  But it was nice to see that she recognized the value we bring to the table.

Here at Business Law Group, we are working on developing innovative and unique ways to ensure our clients avoid any expensive trips to a Big Law firm.  But the first step to helping us help you is: scheduling an appointment to discuss and assess your current needs.

About the Author

Amanda Butler Schley

Ranked as a Top Rated Business and Commercial Attorney, I have more than a decade of experience representing boutique hotels, family-owned businesses, privately owned restaurants, breweries, artists, executives and entrepreneurs.


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Who We Are

Business Law Group is a boutique business services law firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our focus is on understanding the legal pitfalls of your business and industry, as well as the secrets to maximizing your legal leverage at every opportunity and in every negotiation. We work selectively with clients that aren't ready for the overhead expense of an in-house general counsel, but understand the advantages of having a trusted legal advisor on their team. Amanda Butler has been ranked as a Louisiana SuperLawyer, New Orleans Top Lawyer, Best Lawyers, and in Leaders of Law.