A Q&A with Esquire CEO Terrie Campbell
The first in a regular series of Q&A’s with friends, clients and employees of Esquire.
Q. How did you come to lead a deposition services company?
Well, first, I love to serve. I try to show clients that no one cares more about them as a person or customer than I do. I’ve served clients in several industries where I’ve always focused on building lasting customer relationships. Rather than being transactional, we nurture client engagements into partnerships that deepen over the long-term lifecycle of a service.
When I was recruited to Esquire, I immediately found deposition management to be an appealing industry and one at a tipping point: Technology is beginning to dramatically enhance service delivery in some exciting ways.
Q. What is the biggest challenge law firms and corporate legal departments are facing with respect to litigation?
Client loyalty, hands down. For centuries, lawyers and clients easily established long-term, if not lifetime, relationships with clients. As with so many other institutions, the Internet has changed everything. It’s now easy for any kind of customer to switch vendors, research competitors, and go into a new sales situation with a lot of background on you.
For law, that means that Client 2.0 has far more power and control than they ever have. They have new methods of finding you (the lawyer), engaging with you, dictating terms of the deal, choosing the players, and moving on if someone else appeals to them. It’s a seismic shift. Although the client mindset has changed dramatically, service delivery largely hasn’t. Yet I see winning firms catching up.
Q. What can firms do?
I believe firms can benefit from technologies that reduce the costs and improve the performance of their litigators. Of course, I’m thinking here about digital deposition transcripts, electronic exhibits, real-time deposition streaming, videoconferencing, collaborative scheduling, invoicing, etc
. Regardless of the technology or process, those who commit to a firm-wide transformation have the best chance of seizing the value. This is especially important for firms who are being asked to provide some sort of coast-to-coast service, e.g., class action. These firms can be nimble, move at the pace of business.
Q. What new challenges/opportunities do you see coming in the future?
On the challenge side, the specter of cyberattacks creates a real and imminent danger for firms. On the opportunity side, firms that can appeal to Client 2.0 have a great opportunity to win. Clients are looking for shared decision-making, transparency and innovation. Firms are seeking new ways to deliver services, secure their information, engage their clients, keep their employees happy, and recruit the best.
Our role at Esquire is helping firms and legal departments delight Client 2.0. It’s not enough to meet the industry’s expectations for legal services; we intend to change the industry’s expectations.